Newspaper delivery women shot by Los Angeles police officers during a frenzied manhunt for a disgruntled ex-officer are in line to receive $4.2 million in a settlement with the city. The deal was reached early Tuesday morning after more than a month of negotiating. Hetty Chang reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 23, 2013.
The city of Los Angeles will pay $4.2 million to the two women injured when police mistakenly opened fire on their truck during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, a disgruntled ex-LAPD police officer who killed four people in a rampage that kept Southern California on heightened alert for days.
LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich confirmed Tuesday morning to NBC4 that a deal has been reached with Margie Carranza and her mother, Emma Hernandez.
"The deal is relatively a very simple, very clean deal. It's a win-win for both parties," Trutanich said. "It closes this chapter in Los Angeles and LAPD history on all issues."
The $4.2 million will be split between the two women "any way they want," Trutanich said.
The shooting happened Feb. 7 about 5 a.m. as the pair was delivering newspapers in their Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue in the Torrance area. Earlier in the day, two Riverside officers were ambushed in their police car, and authorities were on the hunt for Dorner and his Nissan Titan.
Hernandez, 71, was shot twice in the back and Carranza, 47, was injured by broken glass.
Glen Jonas, the women's attorney, applauded the city attorney's efforts in a news conference Tuesday afternoon. He believes the city would have spent millions more if the case went to litigation.
"If this case went to litigation it would cost the city a minimum of $5 million just with defense costs," Jonas said. "And potentially – being conservative – maybe somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million total."
Hernandez and her daughter have not spoken publicly. They are said to be in good spirits, according to Jonas.
"This doesn't change anything that happened on that day, doesn't change the trauma that they went through," Jonas said. "They will be contending with that the rest of their lives."
The search for Dorner ended Feb. 12 with a shootout and standoff in the Big Bear area.
Dorner was holed up in a cabin surrounded by authorities when a police tear gas canister shot into the residence started a fire. Dorner died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to deputies.
The City Council has to approve the settlement amount, which is scheduled for discussion on May 21.