POSTED: 6:33 a.m. HST, Feb 7, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 8:45 a.m. HST, Feb 7, 2013
Two women who were shot by Los Angeles police in Torrance early today during a massive manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer were delivering newspapers, sources said.
The women, shot in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue, were taken to area hospitals, Torrance police Lt. Devin Chase said. They were not identified. One was shot in the hand and the other in the back, according to Jesse Escochea, who captured video of the victims being treated.
It was not immediately known what newspapers the women were delivering. After the shooting, the blue pickup was riddled with bullet holes and what appeared to be newspapers lay in the street alongside.
Local, state and federal authorities are involved in a massive search for Christoper Jordan Dorner, 33, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who threatened "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against police in an online manifesto, and was suspected of shooting three police officers, one of whom died, early today in Riverside County.
Dorner also is suspected of killing a couple in Orange County earlier this week.
Sources said the Los Angeles police detectives involved in the Torrance shooting were on protective detail for a police official named in the suspect's manifesto.
A second shooting, involving Torrance police officers, occurred about 5:45 a.m. at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street in Torrance. No injuries were reported in that incident.
Chase said that in both instances police came across vehicles they thought were similar to the one Dorner is believed to be driving. Neither vehicle was Dorner's.
"Now it appears neither of them are directly related," Chase said. "In both of them, officers believed they were at the time."
Freeway signs urged motorists to call 911 if they saw the suspect's 2005 Nissan Titan as officers patrolled the streets near one of the Riverside County crime scenes with rifles at the ready. Los Angeles police were put on a citywide tactical alert and the California Highway Patrol issued a "blue alert" for nine Southern California counties, warning that Dorner was considered "armed and extremely dangerous."
Hours after authorities announced they were looking for Dorner in connection with the double homicide this week in Irvine, the search intensified after three police officers were shot in Riverside County today and Dorner was identified as a possible suspect.
The first police shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. today in Corona, where two LAPD officers were providing protection for someone mentioned in Dorner's manifesto, officials said. One officer suffered a graze wound to the head during a shootout and Dorner fled the scene, police said.
A short time later, two Riverside officers were shot at the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Arlington Avenue in Riverside. Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said the officers were sitting at a red light when they were ambushed. One was killed, the other was still in surgery this morning.
None of the officers involved were identified.
"Our officers were stopped at an intersection at a red light when they were ambushed," he said. "Because of the close proximity to the timeline, we believe there is a strong likelihood that former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner was involved in our incident."
In his online manifesto, Dorner specifically named the father of Monica Quan, the Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach who was found dead Sunday in Irvine along with her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Randy Quan, a retired LAPD captain, was involved in the review process that ultimately led to Dorner's dismissal. A former U.S. Navy reservist, Dorner was fired in 2009 for allegedly making false statements about his training officer. In the manifesto, he complained that Randy Quan and others did not fairly represent him at the review hearing.
"The violence of action will be high .... I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty," Dorner wrote.
Authorities said they believe Dorner attempted to steal a boat from an elderly man about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Point Loma Yacht Club in San Diego, hours before the shootings in Riverside County.
The boat owner reported being accosted by a burly man who tied him up, threatened him with a gun and said he wanted the boat to flee to Mexico.
But while they were trying to get underway, a rope became entangled in the propeller and the boat was inoperable, authorities said.
The suspect fled the scene and the boat owner was unharmed.
About 2 a.m., a citizen reported finding property belonging to Dorner on a street near Lindbergh Field, not far from the scene of the attempted boat theft. The property included a briefcase and Dorner's LAPD badge.