Police shoot two in Torrance in search for ex-LAPD cop
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Los Angeles and Torrance police were involved in two shootings in Torrance early Thursday when police came across vehicles similar to the one sought by authorities in a massive manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer suspected of shooting three other officers.
Neither incident actually involved the suspect, said Torrance police Lt. Devin Chase. The suspect, Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, was at large Thursday morning.
The first Torrance incident occurred about 5:20 a.m. in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue in Torrance, Chase said. That incident involved Los Angeles police detectives from the Hollywood division, sources said.
Two people were struck by gunfire and transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries, Chase said. No officers were injured.
The second incident, which involved Torrance police, occurred at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street about 5:45 a.m. No injuries were reported in that incident.
Chase said both incidents involved vehicles matching the description of the one sought in connection with Dorner.
“Now it appears neither of them are directly related,” Chase said. “In both of them, officers believed they were at the time.”
It was not immediately clear if occupants of the vehicles matched Dorner’s description, Chase said.
A massive, multiagency manhunt was underway for Dorner after three police officers were shot -- one fatally -- in Riverside County early Thursday. The night before, authorities announced that Dorner was sought in connection with a double homicide in Orange County over the weekend.
Dorner is believed to have posted an online manifesto in which he threatened to harm police officials and their families, authorities said, and he is considered “armed and extremely dangerous.”
The first Thursday shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. in Corona, where two Los Angeles Police Department officers were providing protection for a person mentioned in Dorner’s supposed manifesto, officials said. One officer suffered a grazing head wound during a shootout and Dorner fled the scene, police said.
A short time later, two Riverside officers were involved in a shooting with a suspect 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 Thursday morning.
There was no indication those officers were “actively seeking Dorner,” Toussaint said.
“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.”
Police had cordoned off several blocks surrounding the scene, and officers from several area agencies patrolled the street with shotguns at the ready. Traffic was snarled for the morning commute in both Riverside and Corona. Police said parents should use their own judgment in deciding whether to send their children to school.
The California Highway Patrol issued a “blue alert” for nine Southern California counties. Officials said Dorner is believed to be driving a 2005 blue or gray Nissan Titan, with California license plate 8D83987 or 7X09131.
Police said they believe he may be switching between the two license plates. Dorner is described as a black male, 33 years old, 6 feet tall, weighing 270 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address is in La Palma.
Members of the public were warned to stay away from him if they spot him, and to call 911 immediately.
“Obviously we are on high alert,” Toussaint said.
— Kate Mather, Andrew Blankstein and Phil Willon