Former cop on rampage, issues threats

Last updated 13:08 08/02/2013
Reuters

LAPD launch manhunt for fired officer who threatened "warfare" on cops and is suspected in a string of shootings that killed three people. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Christopher Dorner
CHRISTOPHER DORNER: Pledged to 'terminate' the life of a colleague he blamed for his dismissal from the police in 2008.

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Thousands of police officers hunted Thursday (NZT Friday) for one of their own: A former Los Angeles officer angry over his firing and sought in a deadly shooting rampage after warning he would wage ‘‘warfare’’ on those who wronged him, authorities said.

Authorities issued a statewide ‘‘officer safety warning,’’ and police were sent to protect people named in a manifesto 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,’’ the manifesto said.

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 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.

The hunt for Dorner spread from California to Nevada, Arizona and Mexico, said a US Marshals Service official.

Later Thursday, authorities confirmed that a burned-out pickup truck found near a ski resort east of Los Angeles belonged to Dorner. The local sheriff said Dorner had not been located, but a door-to-door search was under way.

Dorner, who was fired in 2008 for making false statements, was linked to a weekend killing in which one victim was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during his disciplinary hearing; the other was her fiance.

Authorities believe Dorner also opened fire early Thursday on police in cities east of Los Angeles, killing an officer and wounding another.

Police said Dorner, 33, implicated himself in the killings with the multi-page manifesto.

In a Facebook post, Dorner said he knew he would be vilified by the police department 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.’’

Beck detailed Dorner’s alleged crimes in an unusual 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.

As police searched for him, the Los Angeles area was on edge. The nearly 10,000-member LAPD dispatched officers to protect potential targets. The department also pulled officers from motorcycle duty, fearing they would make for easy targets.

Los Angeles officers guarding a ‘‘target’’ named in the posting shot and wounded two women in an apparent case of mistaken identity, 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.

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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 Sergeant Ray Battrick said.

Dorner allegedly tied up an elderly man in San Diego and unsuccessfully tried to steal his boat Wednesday night (NZT Thursday), Naval Base Point Loma was locked down afterwards.

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 14km from the Las Vegas Strip, according to authorities and court records.

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 Sunday night, authorities said.

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 Captain William Hayes said.

Early Thursday, the first shooting occurred in Corona and involved two LAPD officers working a security detail, LAPD Sergeant Alex Baez. One officer was grazed.

Later, two officers on routine patrol in neighbouring Riverside were ambushed at a stop light, said Riverside Lieutenant Guy Toussaint. One died and the other was in surgery. The officers shot were not actively looking for Dorner, Toussaint said.

Dorner was with the LAPD from 2005 until 2008. According to documents from a court of appeals hearing in October 2011, Dorner was fired after he made a complaint against his field training officer, Sergeant Teresa Evans.

Dorner said that in the course of an arrest, Evans kicked suspect Christopher Gettler, a schizophrenic with severe dementia.

- AP

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