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Torrance neighborhood rattled by police shootings

February 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Two women were mistakenly shot in their vehicle by LAPD officers during the search for Christopher Dorner. Another man was shot at by Torrance Police nearby during the same search.

Residents waking up to the sound of gunfire Thursday say it sounded like a war zone. A number of surrounding vehicles were struck by gunfire in the shooting.

"It's kind of crazy. You don't expect it in this neighborhood," said Torrance resident Kathy Merkovsky.

Friday neighbors were finding bullet holes on cars and on their walls.

"It was close. It sounded terrible. I thought bullets came through into our front room," said Torrance resident Richard Good.

Thursday LAPD officers shot numerous rounds into a pickup truck early in the morning. The people inside however were two women delivering newspapers. Emma Hernandez, 71, was shot in the back. Her daughter, 47-year-old Maggie Carranza, was hit in the hand. They both survived.

"They were not the same sex, race, height, weight -- anything. They don't remotely match," said Christopher Driscoll, attorney for the two women. "The vehicle doesn't even match. And with that information they thought it was sufficient to open fire on the vehicle, Bonnie-and-Clyde-style."

Driscoll says the LAPD's actions are unacceptable.

"I don't know how it is that they can possibly justify what occurred under police procedures," said Driscoll.

"The officers are taken out of the field immediately after the shooting and placed on a special duty in the station," said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. "That means if they're not on a regular day off, they're in the station, doing work inside the station without public contact."

Just a block away, Torrance Police officers shot at David Perdue in his pickup truck because it also resembled Dorner's vehicle. Perdue's attorney, Todd Thibodo says Perdue was hurt when an officer rammed the truck and opened fire.

"I think he's the victim of overly fearful and overly aggressive police officers," said Thibodo.


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