$40,000 check given to women mistakenly shot at in Dorner manhunt
A $40,000 check for a new vehicle was delivered Monday to an attorney representing the women whose truck was riddled with bullets by LAPD officers during last month's manhunt for fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner, city officials said.
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said in a statement the tax-free payment would cover the cost of the pickup and other property. The deal was announced Thursday — several weeks after the women were promised a new truck, and two days after they publicly complained through Jonas that they had not received a new vehicle.
"I am thankful that this matter could be resolved in a quick and efficient manner," Trutanich said in a statement Monday. “The settlement negotiated by my office for the damage done to the truck was the legal and morally right thing to do both for the individuals involved and the taxpayers of this city."
Officials stressed that this deal was to compensate the women for the loss of the truck and is separate from any discussions regarding potential litigation involving the LAPD shooting incident in Torrance.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck had pledged to provide the truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers in Torrance on Feb. 7 when LAPD officers fired repeatedly on their blue Toyota Tacoma.
Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza was injured by broken glass.
The officers were protecting the home of a high-ranking LAPD official named in a threatening manifesto authorities said was written by Dorner, and they believed that official could have been a potential target. Dorner at the time had already killed the daughter of an LAPD captain, her fiance — a USC police officer — and a Riverside police officer, officials said.
Dorner was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan and there was a crime broadcast preceding the shooting that said a truck matching Dorner's was in the area.
Beck called the shooting "a tragic misinterpretation" by officers working under "incredible tension" hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers. He promised to provide a truck from a donor regardless of potential litigation by the women.
The women's attorney, Glen Jonas, said last week the women were first offered a used truck, then a non-four-wheel-drive Ford to replace their four-wheel-drive Toyota. The women also had to agree not to sell it for a year. His clients agreed to that truck, he said.
But then the dealership and LAPD officials said the truck would be considered a prize for tax purposes, Jonas said. "Essentially, they'd have to pay taxes like they won it on a game show."
Jonas said the situation has been compounded by the fact that the women haven't been able to work since being injured.
— Kate Mather, Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Police officers protecting a high-ranking LAPD official from fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner fired on this blue Toyota Tacoma, injuring two women delivering newspapers. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times