Redondo Beach and other South Bay residents were awakened early Thursday morning by police sirens and a helicopter overhead responding to two shootings just inside the Torrance city limits.
Preliminary details suggest the incidents are related to the search for Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, suspected in the killings Sunday of Irvine residents Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence and the death Thursday of a Riverside police officer.
Torrance Police Lt. Devin Chase told the Los Angeles Times that neither incident involved Dorner, but were related to the investigation of him. Dorner is also suspected of shooting a Los Angeles police officer in a 1:30 a.m. Thursday shootout in Corona and killing the Riverside police officer on routine patrol in that city a short time later.
The first of the two Torrance shootings happened in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue at around 5:20 a.m., Chase said. Los Angeles police detectives wounded two people who were in a vehicle that reportedly matched the description of the one being used by Dorner.
"The LAPD officers assigned observed a vehicle matching the suspect's vehicle driving down the street with the lights turned out," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
According to City News Service, Beck said officers wound up opening fire on the vehicle. Both people inside the vehicle were hospitalized. One victim was treated for a minor gunshot wound, while the second was being treated for two gunshot wounds, Beck said.
No officers were injured.
"Tragically, we believe this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers," Beck said.
Beck said the vehicle was being driven "in the area of one of our primary
protection details, one of the people that was under the most serious level of threat."
LAPD officers were protecting another officer named in the manifesto Dorner left behind.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the victims were women who were delivering newspapers, and one was shot in the back and one in a hand.
The second shooting, which involved Torrance police, occurred about 5:15 a.m. near the intersection of Flagler Lane and Beryl Street, across the street from the Redondo Beach city limits, according to Torrance police Sgt. Chris Roosen.
Roosen told reporters at a news conference that the officers were responding to a "shots fired" call when they saw the pickup truck.
"A Torrance Police patrol unit occupied by two officers encountered the black truck, collided with the vehicle, and an officer-involved shooting occurred," Roosen later said in a news release.
"The person that was driving the shot vehicle was not hit," Roosen said, who added that the person is cooperating with police. The pickup truck was not the suspect vehicle.
Roosen did not know how many shots the officers fired.
Officers with the Torrance Police Department were talking to neighbors to make sure everyone is OK. No nearby schools—including Beryl Heights Elementary School in Redondo Beach—were put on lockdown.
The investigation is ongoing. The LAPD is investigating the incident on Redbeam Avenue, while Torrance police are in charge of the scene at the intersection of Beryl Street and Flagler Avenue.
"Members of the Torrance Police Department would like to send our thoughts and prayers to all law enforcement agencies, their families, and all innocent people who have been affected by Christopher Dorner’s actions," Roosen said.
—City News Service contributed to this article.