The city of Los Angeles has tentatively agreed to pay $4.2 million to two women wounded when police officers filled their vehicle with bullets as they drove along their morning newspaper delivery route.
Emma Hernandez, 71, and her daughter Margie Carranza, 47, were slowly driving in their blue truck delivering papers on February 7 when they approached Los Angeles police guarding the home of an LAPD captain whose daughter and her fiance were shot and killed by cop-killing fugitive Christopher Dorner, who remained at large. Dorner was believed to be driving a truck.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said Tuesday, "We got out of this thing pretty cheaply, all things considered," noting that "the costs were going to skyrocket" without a settlement, the Los Angeles Times reports.
More than 100 bullets were fired at Hernandez and Carranza, according to Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC.
Attorney Glen Jonas, who represents the women, said that police gave his clients "no commands, no instructions and no opportunity for surrender." Jonas said he started settlement negotiations at $15 million or $16 million, the Times reports.
Hernandez was shot twice. A bullet punched through her back and came out her chest, coming perilously close to her heart. Carranza miraculously only received cuts to her hands. Neither woman was permanently injured.
"I have a 71-year-old client," Jonas said, according to the Times. "You think she wants to risk the appellate court reversing it for one reason or another? $4.2 million means a lot more to her today than potentially $7 million 10 years down the road."
The Los Angeles City Council must approve the settlement.
After the incident, the city also paid $40,000 to replace the women's destroyed Toyota Tacoma truck. The vehicle Dorner was supposedly driving at the time was a gray Nissan Titan. Dorner was found dead February 13 after a cabin fire in Angelus Oaks, Calif.
The Times notes that another man, David Perdue, was mistakenly shot at by police looking for Dorner on February 7. Perdue's settlement negotiations begin in June. The Associated Press describes Perdue as a surfer who was driving his truck to the beach.