Details emerged Sunday about a second incident of police injuring an innocent person driving a pickup truck in the initial hours after a cop-killer’s deadly rampage.
Torrance police reportedly rammed a man’s pickup truck, injuring the driver, and fired three shots into it Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The driver was a baggage handler at LAX heading to the beach to go surfing, The Times reported. David Perdue was not shot but suffered a concussion and a shoulder injury in the crash and has not been to work since.
His pickup truck was totaled.
The incident occurred about the same time two newspaper delivery workers were shot at by police, injuring one in her back and the other in her hand. Both cases came after Christopher Jordan Dorner was reportedly shooting at police in Corona and Riverside, killing one officer.
The second Torrance incident may have involved police units racing to the newspaper carrier incident, which happened near the home of an LAPD officer named in Dorner’s manifesto of hatred and vengeance.
Perdue’s lawyer, Robert Shaehen, told The Times his client was flagged down by officers in a patrol vehicle. After telling the officers he was headed to the beach, the first officer let him drive off.
But a second police car then rammed Perdue’s truck, which was a different make and color than the truck being driven by Dorner. Perdue is a white, Dorner is black, and Perdue is several inches shorter, as well as 100 pounds lighter, than the former LAPD cop.
The Torrance Police Department told The Times that Perdue’s pickup truck was moving directly into the path of a patrol car and did not appear to be yielding to the second car.
When the vehicles collided, Perdue’s airbag activated, blocking the view of the police car’s driver, and one of the officers fired three rounds.
A Torrance department spokesman told The Times the shooting is still under investigation.
“The circumstances of the incident known to the responding officers would have led a reasonable officer under normal circumstances—and these were far from normal circumstances—to believe that fellow officers were being shot at and that the vehicle traveling toward them posed a serious risk,” the department said in a statement released to The Times.
“In the split seconds available to them, action was appropriate to intervene and stop the actions of the driver of that vehicle.”
Torrance police apologized to Perdue and offered him a rental car and payment for his medical expenses, The Times reported.
-City News Service