Scenes from an LAPD Manhunt

 LAPD stray rounds take out an MDX (courtesy latimes.com)

Last night, we blogged the aftermath of the oops-we-did-it-again LAPD shoot-em-up in a quiet Torrance cul-de-sac. In their hunt for crazed cop killer (and former brother officer) Christopher Dorner, trigger-happy cops shot two newspaper delivery people inside their truck. Today, we’re getting details of the collateral damage from the unspecified number of rounds unleashed at civilians by LA’s finest. [Click here for the video.] “Stray” bullets pierced cars, trees, roofs and garage doors. Kathy Merkosky points out the six bullet holes that pierced the bumper and grille of her silver Acura MDX. “Merkosky said she was in the shower when she heard what she thought were her kids banging on the bathroom door. She came out, only to realize  that it was gunshots. She estimated hearing about 60 shots.” At the same time, next door . . .

Next door, Richard Goo, 62, heard the same noise.  ”When I heard all the pop-pop-popping, I dropped to the ground, crawled around and pulled my wife out of the bed and I got on top of her,” he said.  Goo said he could hear the bullets hitting the door, and he feared the gunmen were coming through the house. He called 911 and was told that police were already there.

And how.

Over at examiner.com, David Cordrea points out that Dorner’s ability to evade a massive manhunt puts paid to the theory that American gun owners couldn’t possibly resist government tyranny because they’re outgunned. Not to mention the idea that the police are the only group capable of responsibly handling firearms.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

80 Responses to Scenes from an LAPD Manhunt

  1. avatarpk in AZ says:

    Any bets that they don’t pay for the damages??

  2. avatarMr. Obvious says:

    Reports that the LAPD blasted some 40 rounds at the newspaper delivery vehicle are alarming. Why do the police need more than 10 (7 in NY and other prisoner states) rounds to a “clip”? If you can’t hit what you’re aiming at with 10 / 7 rounds, I think you need more training!

  3. avatarjwm says:

    60+ rounds fired in a residential neighberhood when nobody was shooting back or resisting? Raw troops in a moment of panic with locked down triggers and the giggle switch on.

    Both these shooting incidents indicate to me raw, untrained troops with no discapline. I think the average TTAG’er would put in a better performance than that.

    • avatarWyndage says:

      I’m not sure I’d attribute the hail of gunfire entirely to lack of discipline. It sounds like the LAPD really doesn’t want to capture Dorner alive…

      • avatarjwm says:

        Wyndage, they might not want to take him alive. But he wasn’t there and they were shooting up the area. These cops are meeting no resistance, are not being shot at and yet they unleashed the firepower.

        That speaks to me of frightened, panicked men. You have to actually have Dorner in your sights before you can decide not to take him alive.

        Think what would happen if this bunch met real resistence. If Dorner had been there LAPD would have been out more cops and he wouild still be loose.

        • avatargloomhound says:

          “The deterrent effect of an armed citizenry as a last resort appeal against tyranny is often derided by those who don’t have a clue about what such individuals could accomplish in defense of their liberties. It’s derided even more strongly, and tellingly, more desperately, by those who do, and who see and are shaken to their cores by the vulnerabilities just one armed former police officer/citizen disarmament zealot has exposed.”

          That was from the David Cordrea link provided above.

        • avatarEvan says:

          I have the feeling that they just wanna be thugs at this rate.

      • avatarMatt in SD says:

        They may not want to take him alive but had Dorner been in that truck it seems as though they wouldn’t have succeeded. Since after so many rounds the two women survived with relative minor injuries.

      • avatarSammy says:

        Ya think? I stand a better chance of taking a pi$$ on the moon than Dorner has of being taken alive. Even though we ‘Know” he did the crimes, isn’t a trial in order before execution?

        • avatarmatt says:

          Trials are a anachronism. Look at how the whole country cheered at Osama Bin Laden’s (and his wife’s) extra-judicial execution. Keep in mind that both Clinton and Bush 2 acknowledged he had a right to trial in federal court when their respective Justice Departments indicted him.

    • avatarChris Mallory says:

      They aren’t “troops”. They are civilian government employees.

      • avatar16V says:

        But they call themselves “troops”, call all who aren’t “civilians”, but most importantly, for the last 40+ years, LAPD has been the vanguard of paramilitarization of police.

        From Daryl Gates, the man who famously said in a 90s Congressional Hearing that “casual drug users should be taken out and shot”, and the culture he left behind with SWAT and the rest of that department. To be honest, he likely didn’t create it, most say the idea was brought to him about a year earlier, by a an actual copper, while Gates was Inspector General.

        In the end, the Special Weapons Attack Team (the name Gates wanted) and it’s thoroughly corrupt and unprofessional conduct are now standard-issue across the whole department.

      • avatarmatt says:

        They’re not troops? Why do they use military ranks? Why do they receive arms from the DoD?

    • avatarBob says:

      When it’s one of their own that gets shot they go completely ballistic, bystanders and civil rights be damned. It’s time for some street justice.

      Would there be a massive manhunt like this if Dorner shot civilians and had a manifesto against a small group of civilians?

    • avatarLTC F says:

      Don’t call these ass clowns troops. Troops are Soldiers. I have been in multi hour firefights with brand new troopers who comported themselves far better than these idiots. Many times I have seen Soldiers put themselves at risk to positively identify hostile intent, even when they could legally fire by the ROE. These clowns didn’t identify anything beyond “pick up truck”. Unless all pick up trucks in CA have been declared hostile these cops should be fired immediately, and charged with attempted murder.

      • avatarjwm says:

        I meant no offense at using the term troops to describe the gun happy group in these two incidents. It was just the first word that popped into my head as I was typing.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Agree.

      • avatarmatt says:

        Then why is the number of Iraqi civilian casualties estimated to be 110k – 120k?

        • avatarJoe says:

          Because sh!t happens? Collateral damage in a war zone doesn’t negate the above argument. If this guy is cornered in a crowded shopping mall the number of oopses we will see is going to be horrible

      • avatarJoseph says:

        LTC F,

        I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment.

        The police in Los Angeles are absolutely out of control. So far it seems that the only thing preventing the death of innocent citizens is the incompetence of these sub-human thugs. That luck can’t last forever though when they’re rolling around firing dozens of rounds at unverified targets in residential and high traffic areas multiple times a day. As tragic as it will be someone innocent is going to be killed by the police before this is over.

    • avatarmatt says:

      Untrained troops? Isnt the whole reason we have 5.56 and the M16/M4 is because the DoD believes that enemy casualties caused by our trained troops is a determined by the number of bullets sent down range?

      • avatarJoseph says:

        matt,

        In a word? No. If that were the case every single one of us would use an M249 or M240B since both of those put rounds down range incredibly rapidly, far more so than an M16/M4 platform right?

        The reality is that the more rapidly your weapon fires the less accurately you are able to place that fire. Fully automatic fire is used on “area” targets, which just means “we kind of want to hit within a couple of meters of whatever the hell that landmark 300 meters downrange is.”

        M16/M4 just allows for rapid and accurate follow-up shots. They’re mostly used on semi-auto just like any “Modern Sporting Rifle” at your local gun shop. A combination of the 5.56mm cartridge’s low recoil, a compensator and a stiff buffer spring leads to both minimal muzzle flip (deviation of your sight picture/point of aim) and less flinching. Those two factors combine further with the inherently “flat” trajectory and relatively low loss of impact velocity over a variety of distances are what make the M16 platform effective not just for troops downrange but for sportsmen and home defense across the nation.

  4. avatarBob says:

    It will most likely take several months and an enormous amount of hassle for her to get compensated for the damage. Also, it is quite possible she will be short-changed.

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      Those bullet holes will buff right out. And the house? A little Spackle and paint will make it good as new.
      [/EGREGIOUS SARCASM OFF]

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Something similar happened a few hundred feet from my house one early moring. BG, a tweeker, steals his momma’s car. Police spot him and the chase is on. He starts lobbing rounds through the back window, then ducks into my neighborhood to try to shake the tail. Just as he turns off that side street, a resident backs out of her driveway to go to work. Police car slows, follows her around the corner andthen lights her up. She stops. Rookie cop exits heis vehicle and sends three .357s though her rear window. Never went to a law suit, just a government tort claim. Paid $1ooK. And that is in rural northern california. LA will be paying all of the property damage, emotional distress damages to the resdents who had bullets coming through their houses, and a pile of money to the two women they shot. As long as their lawyer doesn’t get greedy, this case will never go to trial.

  5. avatarChris Mallory says:

    Even worse this guy murdered two citizens as well as shooting civilian government employees. But the cops don’t care about the deaths of the citizens.

  6. avatarJason says:

    Makes sense, those gunshots weren’t for defense, they were for intimidation!

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      +1 for daily news integration. No one can say guns are defensive weapons except DHS, for whom full-auto AR’s are ‘personal defense weapons’. Newspeak on the left, newspeak on the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle…

  7. avatarBillll says:

    They also got wrong the make, model, color, and license plate number of the vehicle. If you own a pickup, stay out of L.A.

  8. avatarROger.45 says:

    Has this been reported on the news?

  9. avatarRalph says:

    Breaking News: WACK-TV reports that Christopher Dorner knocked over a Krispy Kreme in El Centro. Cops from all over the country are now flooding into LA to help with the search. A police spokesman said, “It’s a disaster. He ate all the Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled. How are we going to explain this to the children?”

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Yep. It’s become a dog-eat-dog brutal Burkian world of growing shortages and competition for scraps. That’s why the dogs always have to be shot first, to get us quickly back to a salubrius cop-eat-donut sense of normalcy. Can’t happen soon enough for the Chiefs. Who the hell does this Dorner guy think he is? He got his share of donuts, didn’t he? But, no, he had to screw up a good thing. Prissy boy. He expects donuts after that kind of behavior?

    • avatarRyan says:

      Hahaha. We actually had a chase with a stolen Krispy Kreme truck in our jurisdiction this week. I wasn’t in on it, but the irony of police chasing a Krispy Kreme truck is hilarious.

  10. avatarLongBeach says:

    I’m shocked that my WHITE 95 F250 hasn’t been riddled with bullets yet… Seems like the LAPD’s criteria has been met: large, bald man driving (insert color here) pickup truck. Things keep getting better here in SoCal. (Punches self in face)

  11. avatarbrian says:

    This kind of thing terrifies me. I want cop control NOW!

  12. avatarJohn C says:

    Dorner makes my point. What happens when a few million gun owners (to include well trained vets, and combat vets) “just say no”. The left needs to rethink their position. The hunted will also hunt. The knife cuts both ways. 300 plus million firearms and approx 100 milion guns owners. They can’t get it done if we “just say no”.

    And I don’t think they have the military.

    April 19, 1775

    Molon labe

    • avatarbrian says:

      He makes your point in another way too. What if he decides to commandeer your house and take your family hostage? If the CA government has its way, you’re screwed. As an ex-LEO, he’s guaranteed to be better armed than you will be.

      This can’t end well.

  13. avatarKaliope says:

    Wait, I’m pretty sure Dorner’s truck was discovered burned out on Bear Mountain on the 7th?

    So not only did they fire on a vehicle that was the wrong color, make, model, and plate number, but they did it AFTER knowing that Dorner’s truck had been found burned out on a California mountainside.

    The hell did they think they were shooting at, Stephen King’s Christine?

  14. avatarSammy says:

    Hey, how many LAPD and pals does it take to catch 1 ex cop? (Hint: more than you think). If they keep up the indiscriminate shooting hey may need to borrow some of DHS’s ammo. This is not a man hunt, it’s a kill squad. I think he did the crimes, but isn’t there supposed to be a trial before he’s executed? If this is how the LAPD go about the “capture” of a suspect that was one of them, how do you think they would treat, ooh, say a civilian?

  15. avatarS.CROCK says:

    well, they used their intimidation tools to the fullest.

  16. avatarJAS says:

    This gives a whole new meaning to ROE. There are none. And these people are being trained by the DHS??

  17. avatarRalph says:

    Why don’t they just hit him with a drone strike and let Obama take the credit?

  18. avatarRKBA says:

    If the people of this once great nation do not stand up against this already present tyranny immediately, there will be many more incidents just like this one, likely with more fatalities.

    Wait no longer. Stop your oppressive government NOW, before it is too late.

    • avatarmatt says:

      Once great nation? You think that the police shooting people en masse is a recent development? Look at the Haymarket Massacre for one example. Hell, it has been going on since our country’s inception, see the Whiskey Rebellion where Pres. Washington sent the army to kill tax protestors.

      • avatarJoseph says:

        You should amend your statement above to read:

        “See the Whiskey Rebellion where Pres. Washington sent the army to kill tax protestors, tax protestors who promptly shit kicked their former comrades and forced Pres. Washington to back off.”

  19. avatarBlake says:

    The comments under the Cordrea article are rather eye-opening. The idea that Dorner is a “rogue crazy cop” took a severe hit when LAPD shot up that truck with two women in it.

    The “the mistaken identity” crap floated by the police chief has escalated the situation further. More than a few people are starting to see it as an “us against them” situation, because of the indiscriminate shooting by the cops.

    No matter how this turns out, there are lessons to be learned.

    • avatarRKBA says:

      “there are lessons to be learned.”

      Yes….

      The government is not your friend.

      The government is your enemy.

    • avatarBob says:

      “Mistaken identity” my ass. No attempt to identify was made at all. Let’s shoot up any pickup truck we see, all bets are off now.

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        That’s the central issue I keep expounding. There was no attempt to verify who was in that truck, was it the right truck, etc.

        They just lit ‘em up.

  20. avatarST says:

    Can you just imagine?

    You’re watching a Hickok45 video and sipping tea when lead starts flying into your home.
    I dont know about all of you guys, bu I know what id do in that situation, and its not dialing 911 right away. In this state, if the local constable pulled some stupidity like that they’d be getting AIMED return fire by neighbors unconcerned with who’s shooting at them. Bad guys have impersonated police in the past.

    I’m not in any way condoning violence against LE here; but if someone’s peppering your abode with live fire there’s no time to flash badges and clear bona fides. That could have ended VERY badly for cops, citizens in the truck and bystanders alike.

  21. avatarJim R says:

    It’s a good thing for these cops they haven’t taken aim at any concealed-carry holders yet. They’d have a few more dead cops if they had (not to mention more grist for the “Gun owners are crazy” mill..)

    • avatarWSBS says:

      It’s California. Unless the blue boys start raining fire down on a celebrity or politician, I don’t think they need to be too concerned about return fire, at least not from a CCW holder, anyway.

  22. avatarLance says:

    Shows LA cops cant shoot for crap. Shows LAPD is mockery and laughing stock of US law enforcement.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      No kidding.

      60 shots and the only human they hit was an innocent old lady. This is the exact scenario the gun grabbers envision when a CCW’er opens fire.

  23. avatarAharon says:

    If the shooting victims were (armed or unarmed) gun owners attending a pro-2A function in LA then the coverage by the mass media, and the intensity and police blood-lust in this manhunt would probably be very different.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      The media would have creamed their pants at the opportunity to report a shooting at a pro 2A rally and the cops wouldn’t be near as trigger happy.

  24. avatarRopingdown says:

    It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. A fired cop writes a letter (aka ‘Manifesto’, makes it sound nuttier). He complains of brutality and rascism. Then he goes Postal (also a government agency, though privatized). So, having called their outside PR consultants, what does LAPD do? Start emptying a few mags full auto into random Hispanics without any attempt to command their surrender (remember, this was about brutality and racism in the beginning). But wait, there’s more: Then they claim it was a mistake because, “Really, it’s only Dorner we were intending to empty a few mags into without any command to surrender!” Oh, I see. Well, that’s different.

  25. avatarJoe says:

    What’s the difference between these two crazed cops and Dorner? They still have their badges.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      If there is any justice, not for long. They broke every rule in the book. Or, if you are more cynical, they will not be fired until all the civil actions are settled–firing them now would look like an admission of fault. Can’t have that, can we?

      Not that it will matter. Any jury pulled in LA County will be a majority of anti-gun democrats who, like my wife, will be absolute appalled by this misconduct and will ring the bell. Not that that will happen–any competent attorney representing the City or the cops would know that taking this case to trial for the defendants can’t be a good thing.

    • avatarJoseph says:

      The difference is at present I have less to fear from Dorner than from the cops. Isn’t that sadly ironic?

      Until this “rogue maniac cop” starts killing civilians that AREN’T related to people who he threatened by name I’m going to remain more worried about the actions of his former brethren who are still serving in the LAPD than I am about him. At least Dorner seems to take the time to carefully identify his target before opening fire.

  26. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I gotta agree with obama, I think he should take dorners gun. Remember, if only one life is saved. So you have my blessing grabber in chief, sic em. Either that or feinswine will show her bare arms, I know I’d turn myself in, Randy

  27. avatarfmonk says:

    Anyone else reminded of what happened at the Empire State Building back in August? How the NYPD officers fired numerous rounds that were not well aimed (single handed while backing up), and all civilians injured were struck by bullets fired by the officers; none from the gunman?

    Case of mistaken identity in Torrance, CA? more like failure to identify before using deadly force. Epic fail!

  28. avatarIdahoMan says:

    It’s CITIZENS, not CIVILIANS.

    Also, if these “cops” want to act like murderous, violent, rampaging robots, don’t be surprised if the citizenry starts treating them as the threats that they are.

    The “Blue Brotherhood” gang is the most vindictive and dangerous out there.

  29. avatarBob2 says:

    Reading about this incident, I was rather shocked. I am a former USAF SP. If we would have used deadly force under these circumstances, even if it had been Dorner, we would have most certainly faced jail time. I guess military cops are held to a higher standard than civilian cops.

    • avatarmatt says:

      Actually your wrong. The military has engaged in extra-judicial executions of civilians on countless occassions, and never went to prison for their crimes.

      On December 22, 1920, local union official and itinerant Nazarine minister Adrian Northcutt of Nauvoo, Alabama was summoned out of his home by soldiers of Company M of the Alabama Guard.
      After hearing seven shots fired in quick succession, Northcutt’s son-in-law William (Willie) Baird rushed out to find Northcutt, dead on the ground, with Private James Morris standing over him. Baird shot Morris in self-defense, then fled into the woods. After three days Baird turned himself over to Walker County officials. On January 5, nine guardsmen of Company M entered the jail, subdued the sheriff on duty, lynched Baird, and riddled his body with bullets.[14]
      The guardsmen were eventually acquitted. Former Alabama governor Braxton Bragg Comer would claim that the lynching of Baird “had some element of self-defense in it”.[15

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_Alabama_coal_strike

      • avatarJoseph says:

        So in support of your argument you go back to 1920? To a confused and muddled account of a Union strike where the soldiers were already in violation of posse commitatus with the complicity of their clearly corrupt governer?

        We have been at war and engaged in an occupation for over a decade now and you can’t find anything strong enough to lead with from this century? Or is it as I suppose that “civilians” only count if they’re ‘Merican!

        Now I’ll grant that your example meets the letter of your argument. But since those individuals clearly engaged in multiple other crimes during the course of this I would suggest that you find a few examples where soldiers lined someone up against the wall and shot them without a trial before you can expect anyone to seriously consider it.

        • avatarmatt says:

          From this century? How about the extra-judicial executions of American citizens such as Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi or Anwar al-Aulaqi both of which happened in 2011, and neither one of them committed a crime. They weren’t lined up against a wall, but were targeted in drone strikes.

  30. avatarmatt says:

    BREAKING (back in 2000): Court OKs Barring High IQs For Cops
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95836&page=1#.Tv-OZSNWplw

  31. avatarScoolbubba says:

    How long until some of these bystanders start shooting back at LA’s largest and best armed gang?

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