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LAPD sorry after shooting up wrong vehicle, will give new truck to women

Published February 11, 2013

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, interviewed by CBS News, formally apologized to two women who were shot at by officers guarding a high-ranking police official targeted by wanted murder suspect Christopher Dorner.

Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were the victims of “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension,” Beck said Friday.

As their pickup truck headed in the general direction of the police official’s residence on Redbeam Avenue in Torrance, the officers on guard received a radio call that indicated the truck matched the description of Dorner’s gray Nissan Titan.

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As the vehicle approached the house, officers unloaded a barrage of bullets into the back of the truck. When the shooting stopped, they quickly realized their mistake. The truck was not a Nissan Titan, but a Toyota Tacoma. The color wasn’t gray, but aqua blue. And it wasn’t Dorner inside the truck, but a woman and her mother delivering copies of the Los Angeles Times.

Dorner, a former L.A. police officer suspected in three killings, has been the subject of an intense manhunt. L.A. authorities on Sunday put up a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back in the incident and is expected to recover. Her daughter escaped with only minor wounds from broken glass.

Beck will provide a new truck to the two injured women, a police spokesman said Saturday.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Beck outlined the detailed account of how the shooting unfolded. Just hours before, Dorner allegedly shot three police officers, one fatally. And, in an online posting authorities attributed to him, he threatened to kill more police and seemed to take responsibility for the slaying over the weekend of the daughter of a retired LAPD captain and her fiance.

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