Eight Los Angeles Police Department officers who mistakenly opened fire on two newspaper delivery women during a manhunt for rogue ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner will not face charges, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a letter it found "insufficient admissible evidence" to prove the officers acted unreasonably.
On Feb. 7, 2013, Margie Carranza and her mother Emma Hernandez, then 71, were delivering newspapers before dawn in Torrance, where officers were posted on protective duty armed with shotguns and handguns. As the women slowly drove down the street, officers shot at their blue pickup truck mistaking it for Dorner’s gray or dark blue Nissan Titan.
"When the gun shots started, I started yelling I'm the person that delivers the LA Times!' I was thinking, 'What is the reason they're shooting at me?'" Carranza recalled during a 2013 interview with NBC4.
Carranza was grazed by bullets and her mother was shot twice in the back and neck. They were ordered out of the truck and later taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
"Although the officers were mistaken, their perceptions were based on actual observations: a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle's description, with a partial matching license plate, being driven slowly on the wrong side of the street, followed by an object being thrown from the driver's side," the district attorney's letter said.
"The barrage of gunfire was tremendous, and troubling," the letter goes on to say, painting a picture of confusion among officers believing some of the gunfire was coming from Dorner inside the truck.
The women won a $4.2 million settlement after filing a claim against the city and LAPD. Carranza was also given money to replace her truck.
In February 2014, after LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he believed the officers involved in the shooting violated the department's deadly force policy, Mayor Eric Garcetti questioned if the chief went far enough in his review. Beck later decided not to discipline the officers and to allow them to return to the field.
For 10 days in February 2013, Dorner waged what he called "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against those he blamed for his dismissal from the department four years earlier.
Dorner killed a police officer, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy and an Irvine couple that included the daughter of his lawyer before he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his mountain hideout.
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