LAPD to reopen probe into firing of ex-cop suspected in three slayings
By ANDREW BLANKSTEIN AND CINDY CHANG | Los Angeles Times | Published: February 10, 2013
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif.—Los Angeles police announced Saturday that they would reopen the investigation into the firing of Christopher Jordan Dorner from the LAPD, apparently prompting Dorner’s vengeful rampage that has left three people dead.
Chief Charlie Beck is reopening the investigation because he wants “to ensure the public that the LAPD is fair and transparent,” Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a late-afternoon news conference at LAPD’s headquarters downtown.
Dorner was stripped of his badge in 2009 after a police disciplinary board found him guilty of making false statements against his training officer, Teresa Evans. In August 2007, Dorner accused Evans of kicking a mentally ill man during an arrest in San Pedro.
The internal affairs investigation concluded that she had not kicked the man and that Dorner’s statements were false.
Dorner has killed three people, including a Riverside police officer, and injured others in a campaign to take revenge on those he blamed for his dismissal from the LAPD, police said.
At Saturday’s news conference, Smith also announced that a special task force was being formed to investigate the Dorner case. Other agencies on the task force will include the Irvine police, Riverside police, the FBI, the U.S. marshal’s office and other agencies.
Also, authorities revealed that Dorner’s burned-out truck found on a mountain road in Big Bear last week had a broken axle and that weapons were found inside.
Meanwhile, Beck, interviewed by CBS News, formally apologized to two women who were shot at by officers guarding a high-ranking police official targeted by 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.
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.
Hernandez was shot twice in the back and is expected to recover. Her daughter escaped with only minor wounds from broken glass.
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.