I can’t find the names of the LAPD officers who mistakenly shot two Hispanic women during the Christopher Dorner manhunt. How does the LAPD get away with not naming these guys? An LA Times reporter tells me the officers won’t be named until next year.
About 5 a.m. Thursday, three and a half hours after the shooting, about 60 miles west of Riverside, an aluminum blue Toyota Tacoma rolled slowly down a wide, well-lit street in Torrance.
In the back seat was Emma Hernandez, 71, who was handing copies of the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal to her daughter, Margie Carranza, 46, who was driving with one hand and tossing papers onto porches with the other.
They were both small women, the mother under five feet tall, the daughter just a little taller. They were from El Salvador and spoke little English.
They had risen that morning in a Torrance tenement with a graffiti-scratched elevator. Hernandez shared the single bedroom with her granddaughter; Carranza slept in the living room near her teenage son.
The women were squirreling away money so that the boy could afford college. They did the two- and-a-half-hour shift seven days a week, 365 days a year, and held down separate jobs as housecleaners.
They drove to the newspaper distribution center to pick up their stack of 400 papers, and began their route. Their custom was to drive with headlights and hazard lights on.
The daughter noticed a police car parked at the corner of Redbeam Avenue and Norton Street, all four doors open, with no officers in sight. She was apprehensive. She never saw police here.
The women did not know that a team of LAPD officers was on the block guarding the house of a captain who had been targeted in Dorner’s manifesto. The police also had just received a radio call that a truck resembling Dorner’s had left the freeway and was headed their way.
The truck windows were open, and yet the women heard no orders to stop, no commands to surrender. They heard only the sound of gunfire exploding through the truck.
Glass shattered, and the air filled with splinters of plastic. Bullets flew through the seats, the headrest, the glass. “I am just the newspaper woman!” the daughter yelled, but the shots kept coming.
In the back seat, the mother saw her daughter’s head sway from side to side, and feared she would be shot in the head. “No tengas miedo!” she cried. Don’t be afraid.
She hugged the back of her daughter’s seat, to shield her from the barrage of bullets. She did not want her grandchildren to lose their mother. “God have mercy on our souls!” she said.
One bullet went in high on the right side of her back, and emerged just above the collarbone. Another bullet struck her lower back, close to the spine. A small fragment of glass flew into her eye.
Neither woman could tell how long the shooting lasted. By one estimate, police officers — eight of them — fired more than 100 rounds, and 30 of them missed the truck altogether.
Police yelled at the women to get out with their hands up. The terrified women emerged. The daughter told her mother to stand beside her, fearing they would now be executed.