Christopher Dorner sought after shooting Los Angeles cop, couple
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An ex-Los Angeles police officer who authorities say went on a killing spree to punish those he blamed for his firing killed three people, set off a manhunt that stretched across three states and into Mexico, and stirred fear throughout the region.
Police found a burned-out pickup truck late Thursday afternoon that belongs to Christopher Dorner near the Bear Mountain ski area at Big Bear Lake, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said officers were going door to door looking for him.
Throughout the day, thousands of heavily armed officers patrolled highways in the state. Some stood guard outside the homes of people police say Dorner vowed to attack in an angry rant posted online. Electronic billboards that usually alert motorists to commute times urged them to call 911 if they saw him or his truck.
"I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" to Los Angeles Police Department officers, on or off duty, said the manifesto. It also asserted: "Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared. That's what this is about, my name. A man is nothing without his name."
Dorner, 33, had multiple weapons including an assault rifle, said Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, who urged him to surrender at an unusual press conference in an underground room at police headquarters where there was more security than normal.
"Of course he knows what he's doing, we trained him. He was also a member of the Armed Forces," he said. "It is extremely worrisome and scary."
The nearly 10,000-member LAPD dispatched some of its officers to protect more than 40 potential targets across the region on Thursday. The department also pulled officers from motorcycle duty, fearing they would make for easy targets.
"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I'm terminating yours," the manifesto said.
At one point, officers guarding one location mistakenly opened fire on a pickup truck believing it matched the description of Dorner's dark colored 2005 Nissan Titan, injuring two innocent occupants.
The chief said there had been a "night of extreme tragedy in the Los Angeles area" and that the department was taking measures to ensure the safety of officers and their families.
The search for Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for making false statements, began after he was linked to a weekend killing in which one of the victims was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during the 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 wrote it because there were details in it only he would know.
In the post, Dorner wrote that he knew he would be vilified by the LAPD and the news media, but that "unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name."
Dorner was with the LAPD from 2005 until 2008, when he was fired for making false statements.
Quan's father, a former LAPD captain who became a lawyer in retirement, represented Dorner in front of the Board of Rights, a tribunal that ruled against Dorner, police said. Randal Quan retired in 2002 and later served as chief of police at Cal Poly Pomona before he started practicing law. Quan did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
According to documents from a court of appeals hearing in October 2011, 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 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.
After his dismissal, Dorner said in his online rant that he lost everything, including his relationships with his mother, sister and close friends.
"Self-preservation is no longer important to me. I do not fear death as I died long ago," the manifesto. "I was told by my mother that sometimes bad things happen to good people. I refuse to accept that."
Dorner said he would use all of his training to avoid capture and track his targets.
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