LAPD: Officers who shot 2 women during Dorner manhunt violated policy

Detectives investigate the scene where officers fired on a vehicle they believed was Christopher Dorner's on February 7, in Torrance, California. Two people in the truck were wounded.

Story highlights

  • "I have a very high standard for the application of deadly force," police chief Charlie Beck says
  • Discipline for the eight officers could range from retraining up to termination
  • Emma Hernandez was shot in the back and Margie Carranza was injured by broken glass
  • Ex-officer Christopher Dorner declared war on police after being fired by the LAPD

Eight Los Angeles police officers violated department policy for use of deadly force when they shot two women during last year's manhunt for renegade ex-officer Christopher Dorner, police chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.

"I sympathize with the officers, but I have a very high standard for the application of deadly force and the shooting did not meet that standard," Beck told reporters.

Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were shot as police searched for Dorner, a former police officer who was wanted for killing several people in early February 2013.

The two women were in a pickup truck similar to the one authorities said Dorner was driving and the officers had received reports that the suspect was in the area.

'A tragic cascade of circumstance'

The police chief said Tuesday that state law prohibits him from discussing punishment for individual officers.

"Discipline could be anywhere from extensive retraining up to termination," according to Beck. "All officers involved have been assigned to non-field duty since this event occurred."

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The two women were out delivering morning newspapers when they were shot. Beck said one of the officers mistook the sound of a paper hitting the ground as a gunshot and opened fire, followed by other officers also firing their weapons.

"This was a tragic cascade of circumstance that led to an inaccurate conclusion by the officers," Beck said.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back and Carranza suffered injuries from broken glass.

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City settles

They agreed to split a $4.2 million settlement, attorneys for the city and the women told reporters in April. The Los Angeles City Council approved the payout in June. Earlier, the women received $40,000 to replace their bullet-riddled pickup truck in a separate settlement.

Dorner died February 12 while holed up in a cabin in Bear Lake, California, that caught fire when police fired tear gas canisters into it. Days before, he had killed four people and wounded three others as part of a vendetta against his former comrades before apparently taking his own life in the cabin.

Dorner declared war on police in a manifesto after being fired by the LAPD in 2009 and losing appeals to be reinstated, claiming that racism in the police department was behind him losing his job.