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Judge: Torrance must name officer who shot at wrong man in Dorner hunt

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

A man who was shot at by Torrance police during the hunt for ex-Los Angeles police Officer Christopher Dorner will finally learn the name of the officer who shot at him, a judge ruled Wednesday.

A federal district court judge ordered the city of Torrance on Wednesday to give David Perdue the name of the officer who shot at him on Feb. 7 within 30 days, KABC-TV reported.

Perdue was wrongly targeted during the search for Dorner, a cop-killer who had written in a manifesto he was going after police. The city has already reimbursed him $20,000 for damage to his pickup truck, his attorney said.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Early on the morning of Feb. 7, Perdue was driving toward the beach to surf before starting a shift at his job as a baggage handler at Los Angeles International Airport when a Torrance police cruiser rammed into his truck and at least one of the officers in the car fired repeatedly at Perdue.

Perdue, a father of two, was not hit but sustained back and head injuries that have left him unable to work and with speech problems, according to his attorney, Robert Sheahen.

Outside the courtroom Wednesday, Perdue discussed life since the shooting.

"I've got really bad back stiffness and backaches, a popping in my shoulder, and mentally having a hard time struggling through life, period, and sleeping and trying to raise my family is really difficult at the moment, so mentally and physically I'm trying to recover from everything, but it's been tough," Perdue told KABC.

The officers who shot at Perdue were part of a massive dragnet across the region searching for Dorner, a former LAPD officer who had announced his plans to seek revenge for his firing from the department by killing those he blamed for his downfall as a cop. Dorner died several days later from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was cornered by authorities.

The incident was similar to another one nearby earlier the same morning when Los Angeles police shot at another pickup truck. In that vehicle were a mother and her adult daughter who were delivering newspapers. 

Despite police being on edge because of Dorner's vows to attack, the incidents drew sharp condemnation and raised questions about how the shootings could have occurred. Dorner, who was a large African American man, looked nothing like the women in the truck, both Latina, or Perdue, a small white man. And the pickup trucks they drove were different models and colors than then the one police believed Dorner was driving.

The way Perdue’s federal lawsuit against Torrance has played out so far stands in contrast to the way Los Angeles officials handled the shooting of the newspaper delivery women. In that incident, the women received cash for a new truck in March and the following month reached a $4.2-million settlement with the city.

Sheahen said the city offered Perdue a $500,000 settlement, which he considered too low.

[For the Record 3 p.m. PST, Nov. 15: A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to the order being issued by a superior court judge.]

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

joel.rubin@latimes.com

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