News Column

Ex-cop Sought in Revenge Rampage Leads Calif. Police to Mountains

Feb. 8, 2013

Andy Goldberg, dpa

A massive manhunt fanned out Friday across Southern California for a heavily-armed former policeman suspected of killing three people and shooting three police officers in a vendetta against the Los Angeles Police Department.

Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, released a chilling manifesto earlier in the week threatening to target police in retribution for being fired four years ago.

The search was focused on the mountain community of Big Bear, some 160 kilometres east of Los Angeles, after Dorner's truck was found burning on a forest road.

Hundreds of heavily armed police and SWAT teams were going door-to-door through the hamlet's 400 homes, and checking some 200 unoccupied cabins where the suspect may be holed up, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told a news conference.

"We have no new information about the suspect or his location," McMahon said. "Some reasonable information would suggest that he's no longer in this area."

The sheriff said heavy snow fall had helped in the search. "Snow is great for tracking as well as looking at each individual cabin for forced entry," he said.

Dorner's training as a policeman and Navy sharpshooter specializing in undersea warfare made him a formidable adversary, and police searching for him were aware of his ability to target them at any moment.

Police remained on high alert throughout Los Angeles with the police headquarters and main city jail placed on lockdown following unconfirmed sightings of the fugitive ex-cop.

Dorner was named as a suspect Wednesday in a double homicide that occurred on Sunday. On Thursday he is alleged to have shot police officers who were stopped in their car at an intersection in Riverside, Southern California, killing one of them. Earlier he is believed to have shot at officers who were guarding one of the police officials he had explicitly threatened.

In a shooting that did not involve Dorner, two women were injured when police opened fire after mistaking their vehicle for Dorner's. One was lightly injured, while the other was said to be in stable condition. Police also shot at another truck in another case of mistaken identity but no injuries were reported in that incident.

The victims of Sunday's double homicide were identified as Monica Quan and her fiance Keith Lawrence. Quan is the daughter of Randal Quan, the officer who handled Dorner's appeal against his firing from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), where he had worked from 2005-08.

Dorner claimed that he had been unjustly fired from the LAPD after reporting a colleague for using excessive force when making an arrest.

"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own. I'm terminating yours," Dorner allegedly wrote, according to a document released by CNN. "I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty."

The dragnet for Dorner stretched all over southern California and into Nevada. He is armed with multiple weapons, police said, including an assault rifle.

"Our department is implementing all measures possible to ensure the safety of our LAPD personnel, their families and the Los Angeles community, and will continue to do so until Dorner is apprehended and all threats have been abated," police said in a statement.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said the situation was "extremely worrisome and scary" and called on Dorner to turn himself in. "Of course he knows what he's doing - we trained him," Beck told reporters.

"I would tell him to turn himself in. This has gone far enough. No one else needs to die."

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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