Today, three states and Mexico were on alert for Christopher Dorner, an ex-LAPD officer who is accused of killing a police officer and two others. Dorner’s burned-out pickup truck was found in snowy mountains near Big Bear Lake, which is about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, California. There were footprints in the snow leading away from the vehicle.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said 125 officers were going door to door and attempting to track the suspect, and that a SWAT team was providing added security to those in the community. Schools were put on lockdown while investigators examined the vehicle and spread out across the area.
“He could be anywhere at this point, and that’s why we’re searching door to door,” McMahon said, adding that the manhunt would continue “as long as we can.” A snow storm was expected in the region with temperatures dipping into the teens overnight.
Said LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore: “This complex and violent investigation has led to this mountain.”
Dorner has published a manifesto on Facebook that discusses what he would do to clear his name. He was fired in 2008 for making false statements. Dorner was linked to the killing of the daughter of a former police captain who represented him during his disciplinary hearing.
Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, were found shot in their car at a parking structure at their condominium on Sunday in Irvine. Quan, 28, was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton. Lawrence, 27, was a public safety officer at the University of Southern California.
Police said Dorner implicated himself in the couple’s killings in the manifesto posted on Facebook. They believe he was the one who wrote it because there were details in it only he would know.
According to documents from a court of appeals hearing, Dorner was fired from the LAPD after he made a complaint against his field training officer, Sgt. Teresa Evans. Dorner said that in the course of an arrest, Evans kicked suspect Christopher Gettler, a schizophrenic with severe dementia.
Richard Gettler, the schizophrenic man’s father, gave testimony that supported Dorner’s claim. After his son was returned home on July 28, 2007, Richard Gettler asked “if he had been in a fight because his face was puffy” and his son responded that he was kicked twice in the chest by a police officer.
Dorner has said that he will use all of his training to avoid capture and to track his targets among police and their families.
Dorner also had served in the Naval Reserves, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records, and took a leave from the LAPD and deployed to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.
“I will utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I’ve been given,” the manifesto read. “You have misjudged a sleeping giant.”
Earlier Thursday, two LAPD officers en route to provide security to one of Dorner’s possible targets, were flagged down by a resident at a gas station in Corona who reporting seeing the suspect. The officers then followed a pickup truck until it stopped. The driver, believed to be Dorner, got out and fired a rifle, police said. A bullet grazed an officer’s head.
Later, two officers on routine patrol in neighboring Riverside were ambushed at a stoplight by a motorist who drove up next to them and opened fire with a rifle. One died and the other was seriously wounded but was expected to survive, Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz said.
Diaz said news organizations should withhold the officers’ names because the suspect had made clear that he considers police and their families “fair game.”
Edgy LAPD officers who were guarding a named target shot and wounded two women in a pickup truck mistaken for that of Dorner.
(Note added February 8, 2013: Since I believe Dorner will likely be killed by law enforcement officers pursuing him and that we will not get to hear his side in a public trial, I have been giving his situation a lot of thought. I am a fan of Occam’s razor, and it this case, it looks very much as though Dorner, while a police officer, may have presented the truth in the beating of a mentally ill person by one of his fellow officers. It looks very much like he was railroaded and fired when those investigating the incident needed a scapegoat, as “thinking-judging” individuals often do. Dorner admits that he was depressed and “…an ex-girlfriend of Dorner’s called him “severely emotionally and mentally disturbed after the two split in 2006.” His firing by LAPD profoundly affected him in 2008. I did not know that depression, so common in our society, can easily lead to more severe mental illnesses and even a psychotic break, until 2002. This may have happened to Dorner. In any case, it looks like a bad case of Karma may be visiting some corrupt police officers of the LAPD who may have chosen the wrong man to be their scapegoat. The more thoughtful of the law enforcement officers may think twice about beating a mentally ill person, next time, or about pushing the wrong man beyond his limits.)
(Note added February 9, 2013: It looks as though Dorner’s published manifesto has raised questions in the minds of others, beside my own.)
(Note added February 13, 2013: Now the San Bernardino County Sheriff says that the cabin fire was not set intentionally:
His deputies lobbed pyrotechnic tear gas into the cabin, and it erupted in flames, he said. McMahon did not say directly that the tear gas started the blaze, and the cause of the fire was under investigation.
However, igniting a small fire is HOW TEAR GAS CANISTERS WORK. The canisters themselves get so hot that you shouldn’t touch them with bare hands. And if you USE such devices, you should KNOW that! Please don’t “play dumb” with the American public.)
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