Massive Manhunt Under Way For Former L.A. Officer Accused Of Killing Spree
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of police officers throughout Southern California and Nevada hunted Thursday for a disgruntled former Los Angeles officer wanted for going on a deadly shooting rampage that he warned in an online posting would target those on the force who wronged him, authorities said.
Authorities issued a statewide "officer safety warning" and police were sent to protect people named in the posting that was believed to be written by the fired officer, Christopher Dorner, who has military training. Among those mentioned were members of the Los Angeles Police Department.
"I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty," said the manifesto.
Dorner has available multiple weapons including an assault rifle, said police Chief Charlie Beck, who urged Dorner to surrender.
"Nobody else needs to die," he said.
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More than 40 protection details were assigned to possible targets of Dorner. Police spokesman Cmdr. Andrew Smith said he couldn't remember a larger manhunt by the department.
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. Authorities believe Dorner opened fire early Thursday on police in cities east of Los Angeles, killing an officer and wounding another.
Beck detailed Dorner's alleged crimes in an usual press conference in an underground room at police headquarters, where extra security was deployed. The chief said there had been a "night of extreme tragedy in the Los Angeles area" and that all measures were being implemented to ensure officer safety.
Police said Dorner, 33, implicated himself in the couple's killings with the multi-page "manifesto."
A Facebook post believed written by Dorner said 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."
Los Angeles police believe the manifesto posted to Facebook was written by Dorner because there are details in it only he would know.
As police searched for him, the packed Los Angeles area was on edge. The nearly 10,000-member LAPD dispatched many of its officers to protect potential targets. The department also pulled officers from motorcycle duty, fearing they would make for easy targets.
In San Diego, where Dorner allegedly tied up an elderly man and unsuccessfully tried to steal his boat Wednesday night, Naval Base Point Loma was locked down Thursday. Navy spokesman Kevin Dixon said a Navy person reported someone matching Dorner's description in the area. Dozens of local police, sheriff's deputies and federal agents were at the base.
Nevada authorities also looked for Dorner because he owns a house nine miles from the Las Vegas Strip, according to authorities and court records.
Authorities said the U.S. Navy reservist may be driving a blue 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck.
Los Angeles officers guarding a "target" named in the posting shot and wounded two women in suburban Torrance who were in a pickup but were not involved, authorities said. It's not clear if the target is a person or a location. Beck said one woman was in stable condition with two gunshot wounds and the other was being released after treatment.
"Tragically we believe this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers," Beck said.
The Daily Breeze in Torrance also reports (http://bit.ly/YWhBLi) that there was another police shooting nearby involving another pickup truck, but the driver wasn't hurt.
"We're asking our officers to be extraordinarily cautious just as we're asking the public to be extraordinarily cautious with this guy. He's already demonstrated he has a propensity for shooting innocent people," said Smith, the LAPD commander.
Dorner is wanted in the killings of Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence. They were found shot in their car at a parking structure at their condominium on Sunday night in Irvine, authorities said.
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. There was disbelief at three college campuses, Fullerton, USC, and Concordia University, where the two met when they were both students and basketball players.
Dorner was with the department 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 at the time of his dismissal, LAPD Capt. William Hayes told The Associated Press Wednesday night.
Randal Quan retired in 2002. He later served as chief of police at Cal Poly Pomona before he started practicing law.
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.
Early Thursday, the first shooting occurred in Corona and involved two LAPD officers working a security detail, LAPD Sgt. Alex Baez. One officer was grazed.
Later, two officers on routine patrol in neighboring Riverside were ambushed at a stop light, said Riverside Lt. Guy Toussaint. One died and the other was in surgery. The officers shot were not actively looking for Dorner, Toussaint said.
Dorner's LAPD badge and an ID were found near San Diego's airport and were turned in to police at early Thursday, San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick said.
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