An attorney for two women who came under fire on Feb. 7 from skittish police officers in Torrance during a frantic manhunt for a fugitive ex-police officer said shows off the women's bullet-riddled clothing, saying the assault was uncalled for. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2013
Officers fired more than 100 rounds at two newspaper delivery women -- leaving bullet holes in their pickup, clothing and other personal items in the vehicle -- in a case of mistaken identity during the search for fugitive Christopher Dorner, according to their attorney.
The women, Margie Carranza and her 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez, are "grappling with a lot of issues" in the wake of the incident, attorney Glen Jonas told NBC4.
Officers opened fire on the women's blue Toyota Tacoma early Feb. 7 as they delivered the Los Angeles Times newspaper on Redbeam Avenue in Torrance. Jonas said he counted 102 bullet holes in the pickup.
"I don't understand how they survived," Jonas said. "They're grappling with a lot of issues -- the fact that they were almost killed by the police."
The shooting -- LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called it a case of mistaken identity and met with the women Saturday at their home -- occurred amid a manhunt for fired LAPD officer Christopher Dorner and just hours after a man identified as Dorner opened fire on officers in Riverside County. One of two Riverside officers shot at a stop light was killed in an ambush-style attack.
Dorner had been identified the previous night as a suspect in the Feb. 3 shooting deaths of a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiance in Irvine -- part of a what police described as a revenge plot outlined in a manifesto that identified police and their families as targets.
The Torrance shooting occurred after officers were notified of a vehicle that matched the description of Dorner's -- a gray 2005 Nissan Titan. The officers, part of a detail dispatched to protect an officer who was named in Dorner's online manifesto, noticed a dark-colored pickup with its lights off when they slowly approached the officer’s home, police said.
Police opened fire on the truck, striking the tailgate and back windshield. Jonas showed NBC4 a hoodie worn by Hernandez and bag with what he said were bullet holes.
The bag was hanging from the passenger's seat, in which Carranza was seated, he said.
Hernandez suffered two bullet wounds to the back. She was released from the intensive care unit and was recovering. Carranza, 47, had minor injuries related to shattered glass and a wounded finger.
Jonas was asked whether he planned to file a lawsuit. He said he plans to let the LAPD conduct its investigation
The officers were placed on paid administrative leave, the LAPD said on Friday. The officers, who were not named, must see a department psychologist before they are allowed to return to patrol, said LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman.
Beck told the women Saturday he arranged to provide them with a new pickup.
The shooting marked was one of two involving officers firing on motorists in Torrance during the Dorner manhunt. About two blocks from the Redbeam Avenue shooting, Torrance police officers opened fire on a 38-year-old white male driving a dark-colored pickup truck -- identified later as a black Honda Ridgeline.
Torrance officers heard gunfire coming "in proximity to" where LAPD officers were providing protection to subjects named in the Dorner document. A Torrance patrol unit collided with a truck leaving the area before opening fire, according to Torrance police.
The driver was not shot and suffered "no visible injuries," according to police.
That Torrance shooting remains under investigation.