A lawyer on Friday accused officers of trying to administer "street justice" when they accidentally shot and wounded two newspaper delivery women in a case of mistaken identity during a high-profile hunt for an ex-LAPD officer accused in a fatal rampage.
The officers were part of a detail dispatched Thursday morning to protect an officer who was threatened in an online manifesto written by fired LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner, police said.
Emma Hernandez and her daughter, Margie Carranza, 47, were shot at on Redbeam Avenue in Torrance before dawn Thursday.
Hernandez, 71, remained hospitalized in the intensive care unit on Friday, recovering from two bullet wounds, said her attorney Glen T. Jonas. Carranza had minor injuries related to shattered glass and a wounded finger.
Two blocks away from where the women were shot, officers opened fire on a 38-year-old man driving to the beach to go surfing, according to his lawyer. No one was injured in the second shooting, which happened about 25 minutes after the first.
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.
Dorner is the subject of a manhunt in at least two states in connection with shootings that killed three people -- including a Riverside police officer -- and wounded two others since Sunday.
The shooting happened when Los Angeles police detectives on the lookout for Dorner opened fire on her pickup truck as she and her daughter were delivering the Los Angeles Times in Torrance. Dorner stands 6 feet tall and weighs 270 pounds.
The attorney for the women, Glen T. Jonas said he was shocked. He said neither the size of the women nor the blue Toyota Tundra truck they were in matched the description of Dorner's Nissan Titan.
"There were two women there. They are not black. They are not large. They were not in a car that matched. No danger was presented to the officers," Jonas said. "It was such a mismatched identification."
Hernandez was twice hit in the back, according to her attorney, and was reported Thursday night to be stable. Her daughter received stitches on her finger.
Police Chief Charlie Beck Thursday called the Torrance shooting “a case of mistaken identity.”
Shortly after the women delivering papers were fired on, two Torrance police officers in a cruiser saw a truck that also looked to them like Dorner's “suddenly leaving” the area where the LAPD detectives had opened fire, according to a Torrance Police Department statement.
The squad car collided with the black truck, “and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” according to the statement, but no one was hurt, either by the gunfire or the collision's impact.
In an online manifesto, Dorner vowed to go on a killing spree in retaliation for having been fired from the LAPD in 2008.
Since the manifesto was published on Monday, police across Southern California have been providing protection details for those people named as targets by Dorner and their families, officials said.