LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The city of Los Angeles will pay $4.2 million to a mother and daughter who were caught in a hail of bullets in February when police mistook their truck for one driven by renegade ex-policeman Christopher Dorner and opened fire, officials said on Tuesday.
The settlement, which allows both sides to avoid a trial, brings the Los Angeles Police Department nearer to closing what had been an embarrassing chapter in its search for Dorner. The department still is reviewing the actions of two officers.
Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer accused of killing four people in a vendetta against the LAPD, died on February 12 in a fiery standoff with officers in the mountains above Los Angeles.
The shooting-related injuries of the two women, who had been delivering newspapers in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, occurred in the first days of the manhunt for Dorner.
Emma Hernandez, 71, was shot twice in the back and her daughter, Margie Carranza, 47, suffered hand injuries from flying debris when two officers opened fire on them before dawn on February 7.
Police had been on the lookout for Dorner’s gray Nissan Titan truck, and officials have said the officers opened fire after mistaking the blue Toyota Tacoma the women were driving for Dorner’s truck.
“In reaching this settlement, we hope Margie and Emma will be able to move on with their lives, the city will be spared millions of dollars in litigation expense and time, and this unfortunate chapter of the Dorner saga will be put to rest,” Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a statement.
Each woman will receive $2.1 million under the settlement, which must still be ratified by the Los Angeles City Council.
In March, Trutanich reached a separate settlement with the women that gave them $40,000 to replace their truck, which was left with multiple bullet holes.
“They are still grappling with a whole range of emotional issues related to the incident,” said the two women’s attorney, Glen Jonas.
Los Angeles police spokesman Chris No said the settlement does not affect the department’s investigation into the shooting by the two officers.
“The department has not yet made any determination regarding the propriety of each officer’s action or any potential discipline related to this use of force,” he said.
The officers remain assigned to desk duty as part of the investigation, he said.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham