Police: Dorner Is Heavily Armed, Trained and Dangerous

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — The ex-cop suspected in the killings of an officer and two others remained at large Friday as darkness fell over a mountain forest and police suspended their manhunt until Saturday morning.

“Once it gets dark out there and the snow keeps falling and they have no air support, I don’t know how effective they would be in that situation,” spokeswoman Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

Throughout Friday, more than 100 officers searched through fresh snow for clues to the whereabouts of Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, a fired Los Angeles Police Department officer and former Navy lieutenant suspected in the three killings.

Dorner allegedly wrote a manifesto declaring a war of revenge on police, authorities said.

By Friday night, police were expected to have completed a search of vacant cabins in the snowpacked forest of the San Bernardino Mountains near the resort town of Big Bear Lake, Bachman said.

Police on Thursday searched 400 homes in the Big Bear Lake area and were completing searches of 200 more on Friday, she said. Overnight patrols in the town were to be beefed up with 12 extra two-officer teams, she said.

“The search is continuing,” Bachman said. “First of all, they have to rest. They have been going at this for two days.”

Police teams were dressed in snow gear, holding the trigger guards on their assault-style rifles while scouring eight square miles near Big Bear Lake, a popular skiing area two hours east of Los Angeles.

The mountains were the focus of Friday’s search effort because police had found Dorner’s burned-out pickup truck a day earlier near the resort community.

The truck had a broken axle, which would have prevented the vehicle from moving, and footprints appear to show that Dorner doubled back into the community, said a source with knowledge of the investigation.

It was unclear where Dorner may have gone from there or by what means, the source said.

But Bachman told reporters Friday: “The possibility exists that he is here, somewhere in the forest, so we’re going to keep looking…until we determine that he’s not here.”

Guns found in the truck were also burned, but authorities believe Dorner may have as many as 30 guns with him, the source said. Dorner was in the Navy and is trained in counterinsurgency and intelligence, the source said.

Two inches of snow Friday coated the mountaintop pine trees and roads around Big Bear Lake, leading motorists to use tire chains. Up to six more inches were expected. But the snow was regarded as a godsend because tracking a man on the run would be easier, authorities said.

Despite the intense search, authorities allowed nearby ski resorts to remain open Friday because they don’t believe Dorner is in Big Bear Lake. At one point, a smiling snowboarder whizzed by police and media, seemingly oblivious to an ongoing news conference and the seriousness of the manhunt.

Jay Obernolte, mayor of Big Bear Lake community, described Friday as having “a beautiful winter morning.” Residents weren’t fearful, he said, adding that “many of the people here are armed.”

“Is there panic in our community?” Obernolte asked reporters rhetorically. “No, there is no panic. We’re a hardy people in the San Bernardino Mountains.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said the snowfall slowed some searching done by foot, but police pushed onward.

“The snow is great for tracking folks, as well as looking at each individual cabin to see if there’s any sign of forced entry,” McMahon said.

“We’re going to continue searching until we either discover he left the mountain or we find him,” he added. “It’s extremely dangerous.”

The county jail in downtown Los Angeles was in lockdown Friday as a precaution after a civilian female employee of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility spotted someone fitting Dorner’s description, said Los Angelese County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.

U.S. Navy installations throughout California and Nevada were “maintaining a heightened security posture,” a U.S. military official told CNN.

“Security personnel are on the lookout” for Dorner, the official said. The measure was ordered overnight by Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander of the Navy’s southwest region.

The official declined to discuss security procedures, but said the move was made after it became clear that Dorner earlier this week gained access to the Naval Base at Point Loma and stayed in a motel there.

Two sailors reported that he approached them Wednesday and spoke with them for about 10 minutes. The conversation took place at a coastal “riverine” unit in San Diego where Dorner served in 2006. As a Navy reservist, Dorner held security jobs with that unit.

The Navy is not certain whether Dorner still possesses any military identification he might try to use to enter a facility. The official said an investigation is under way to determine what military identification he might have.

Dorner underwent flight training in 2009 at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada before serving in San Diego.

In La Palma, California, about 22 miles southeast of Los Angeles, police searched Friday the home of Dorner’s mother, where she and a daughter were cooperating with investigators, said Lt. Bill Whalen of the Irvine Police Department.

The 270-pound former Navy lieutenant promised to bring “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” to police officers and their families, calling it the “last resort” to clear his name and retaliate at a department that he says mistreated him.

Dorner is wanted in the killings on Sunday of two people in Irvine and in the shooting of three Los Angeles-area police officers Thursday, one of whom died.

One of the victims of the Irvine killings, Monica Quan, was the daughter of the retired police officer who represented Dorner in his efforts to get his job back, police said.

“My opinion of the suspect is unprintable,” Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz said, hours after one of his officers was killed. “The manifesto, I think, speaks for itself (as) evidence of a depraved and abandoned mind and heart.”

Related: Timeline of events

Here’s what is known so far:

– Dorner, who worked as an LAPD officer from 2005 to 2008, is accused of killing Quan and her fiance Sunday in Irvine, then shooting two Riverside police officers and an LAPD officer Thursday. Police say he unleashed numerous rounds at the Riverside officers, riddling their car with bullets and killing a 34-year-old officer. The second officer in the car was seriously wounded, and the LAPD officer suffered only minor injuries, police said.

– In a lengthy letter provided by police, Dorner said he had been unfairly fired by the LAPD after reporting another officer for police brutality. He decried what he called a continuing culture of racism and violence within the department, and called attacks on police and their families “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.”

– Leads have taken police from Los Angeles to San Diego to Las Vegas to Big Bear Lake, where police found the charred carcass of Dorner’s gray pickup. Police had found no trace of him Friday, the San Bernadino County sheriff said. Trackers lost footprints believed to be Dorner’s in a wooded area near the truck.

– The LAPD and other agencies have gone to extremes to protect officers. Forty teams of officers were guarding people named as targets in Dorner’s letter. On Thursday, one of the teams shot at a pickup that resembled Dorner’s but turned out to be a Los Angeles Times newspaper delivery vehicle.

– Despite Dorner’s statement in the letter that “when the truth comes out, the killing stops,” Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said authorities don’t plan to apologize to Dorner or attempt to clear his name. Dorner’s firing, Beck said Thursday, had already been “thoroughly reviewed.”

– In Nevada on Thursday, FBI agents searched Dorner’s Las Vegas home. The search forced some of Dorner’s neighbors out of their homes for several hours, CNN affiliate KLAS reported.

“It’s too close to home. It’s kind of scary,” neighbor Dan Gomez told KLAS.

In addition to posting his manifesto online, Dorner mailed a parcel to AC360 Anchor Anderson Cooper’s office at CNN in New York.

The package arrived on February 1 and was opened by Cooper’s assistant. Inside was a hand-labeled DVD, accompanied by a yellow Post-it note reading, in part, “I never lied” — apparently in reference to his 2008 dismissal from the LAPD.

The package also contained a coin wrapped in duct tape. The tape bears the handwritten inscription: “Thanks, but no thanks, Will Bratton.” It also had letters that may be read as “IMOA,” which could be a commonly used Internet abbreviation for “Imagine a More Open America,” or possibly “1 MOA,” which means one minute of angle, perhaps implying Dorner was accurate with a firearm.

The coin is a souvenir medallion from former LAPD Chief William Bratton, of a type often given out as keepsakes. This one, though, was shot through with bullet holes: three bullet holes to the center and one that nicked off the top.

The editorial staff of AC360 and CNN management were made aware of the package Thursday. Upon learning of its existence, they alerted Bratton and law enforcement.

Bratton headed the LAPD at the time Dorner was dismissed.

CNN

118 comments

    • Derek

      It's true. Why else do you think Dorner's family isn't all over the news being interviewed or pleading for him to turn himself in. Dirty Bernie knows it would be bad for his political career if that information got out!

      • Anonymous

        I was thinking the same thing! NOBODY in the family is talking, not even his ex wife. Very interesting, and now I know why. Prob also why Obama hasn't made a plea for him to turn himself in. If he were white or not related to Parks, it would be a different story.

      • Anonymous

        interesting….or it's because of their need to up their minority numbers in the academy after the Rodney King days. It seems like he has had a chip on his shoulder his entire life, blaming everyone else for him being the eternal victim

    • Greatwhite

      Most Negros have the same fathers and don't b knowin who dey r . That's why there's b so much confusion on fathars day in d Hood it's also why dey b callin each other Brothers ,Because dey just might b.

    • Anonymous

      and why isn't the far left liberal media reporting this? because it's not politically correct? but if he were related to Bush they would be all over it!

    • fish

      Police shot two unarmed asians who were delivering mail before police bothered confirming identity. There was no justifcation to shoot people who aren't shooting at police. Who are the names of the officers who shot them and have they been arrested for attempted murder? I want to know.
      Two things must happen; the corruption withing the LAPD must be cleaned out by the state or feds and Dorner needs to be arrested alive to stand trial. In fact those who Dorner identified in his manifesto should be arrested, investigated by the feds, and should also stand trial.

  • guest

    So how are they protecting the people on the list? I mean are they searching the naibers cars everytime the come back from work, school, shopping. are is the block sealed and if you didnt live on that street then no go.i think they should all get together and go to a remote Motel have the cops surround the place. that way they could have their meals shipped in, and__maybe hourly are so bed checks to make sure everyone is safe.Everyone is safe and in one place so that the cops can protect and serve them until Mr.Dorner is no longer a theat to them

    • emmajeri1010

      I'm thinking they won't be interviewed. I'm thinking they will rapidly be provided with a cash settlement way up in six figures–upon their agreement to never talk about what happened to them.

      Fortunately for the public, not having the ladies' detailed perspective will not affect the facts of what's already out there–it would add subjective heat and fire to the story, but not having it doesn't reduce the footprint that the LAPD seems to have put in every SoCal resident's gut.

  • USAGuest

    If you have a truck, any truck I would recommend NOT driving for fear you may get shot. Apparently the cops have very quick trigger fingers.

    You know, shoot now ask later.

  • marlowpowell

    Micah. I agree that Luis`s storry is really cool, last thursday I bought a brand new Ariel Atom since I been bringin in $9452 this past 5 weeks and-even more than, 10-k this past-munth. without a question it is the most-comfortable job I've ever done. I started this 7-months ago and practically straight away was earning at least $77 per-hour. I follow the details here,……… BIT40.ℂOℳ

  • Pegon Zellschmidt

    Oh please! The guy is a fat slob. And just bc he shoots a gun doesn’t make him “an expert”. And a little ‘flight training’ in the Navy doesn’t make him a Seal or a survivalist. He’s a murderer. A fat slob wussy murderer just like the Columbine and Sandy kooks.

    • SmartOne

      Lol. With your comment about his training and calling him a fat slob, you should post ur name and other info and see what happens.

    • Vlad

      Wrong. Premature assumptions about subjects you know nothing of and have not taken the time to research are for children. How do i know this? You used the phrase "fat slob" which is typically only used when emotion is involved. As for being fat…i guess thats true if you consider gorillas fat, but they can still pound your face in.

      Do you still believe in Santa Claus too or something?

  • Canadian cousin

    Ya, where are these little old ladies ? Another cover-up happening here ? Couldn't those cops tell the difference between 2 little old ladies and a 250 lb gorilla ? After they shot up the first one, that wasn't enough, let's go for another !! Dummies !! Hope they have been relieved of their duties get fired and never return, oops don't fire them, they're trigger happy. mistake, ya right

    • Sam

      It's LA, they've probably been inundated with lawyers looking for work. I just hope they pick a good one. LA should be supporting those ladies for the rest of their lives. I wonder what Gloria Alred is up to these days?

    • jespasinthru

      This one man has the LAPD so terrified that they are firing on civilians without warning. That's incompetence, pure and simple. And it goes against all of a police officer's training. We can only hope that they don't start gunning down innocent black men on the street because they "looked like the suspect." God help the citizens of L.A.

      • Fluidizer

        OH Yeah! This Dude is The People's Hero! I cant wait for him to murder another young woman and her fiance! How about you?
        PowerToThe People!

        Jeesh.

  • Buck Rogers

    If "Jack the Ripper" were alive and operating today in L.A. he would have a large following in southern Califorinia who would blame law enforcement, the Pope and Santa Claus.

  • arrow1

    The unwritten code of the LAPD is that a subordinate will pay the price if he charges his superior (Sgt Evans) with violating the law. He didn't have a prayer before the police tribunal. Look at the lives lost and the untold millions of dollars this will cost the City of L.A. not to mention the Vietnamese ladies who were shot by the police (multimillion dollar suit). Will the officers who shot the ladies be fired? I sure hope so.

    • Fluidizer

      Well then, I guess it's all OK fine for him to kill a young girl and her fiance, a few cops, and promise to kill more…..Thanks for your enlightenment.

  • realtalk12

    It appears that the media and lapd are attempting to paint as bad a picture of this guy that they can in order to justify the fact that he will be killed on sight whether he surrenders or not. I don't condone what he is doing, but it appears that he has been tried, convicted and sentenced all within the week. So much for the speedy trial rhetoric and whatnot.

  • nlayne2013

    Seriously, "realtalk12"? ~ HE MURDERED THREE PEOPLE. He IS guilty. The fact that you can't see that says an awful lot about you – and all the other pukes supporting this MURDERER. That was a young woman in that car with her young fiance. They were INNOCENT VICTIMS of this man's murderous, self-indulgent rage. Those cops were at a stop light, and he attacked them unprovoked. It was MURDER. It's pretty clear. His rambling, incoherent statement is NOT a justification for MURDER.

    • Marc

      All this information is courtesy of the LAPD you have to question the source.They want this guy dead so badly the department will stop at nothing to shut him up.

    • JBnID

      The Koran is not justification for 9-11, either, but if you read one you understand the other.

      What about O.J.?

      Dorner 'burned all his bridges' with the murder of the innocent. It is his way of putting guilt on the ones he says did him wrong. Now, he's hunting the hunters like a lion with a vendetta. Lots of cops aren't cut out for this kind of duty. They're already shooting at similar vehicles and only their poor marksmanship has saved the lives of more innocents.

      Of course it's nuts, but it's better than anything Hollyweird has done in the last 50 years. It could have a long way to go, too. He planned for more than a week and wrote down exactly what his goals are. It's a very tough situation but the fact there's so much discussion proves we tend to judge by stereotype instead of on a purely objective basis.
      Some see race, some see abuse by cops without penalty, some see David versus Goliath.

      If a bad cop drove a (sensitive) good cop over the edge by ruining him with lies….he'll be a legend. Much more so if he begins to fulfill what he sees as suicide by cop, with a twist.

    • Justice

      It may be so that this guy killed 3 people in cold blood but arent we in America INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY. Dont take everything we hear about this guy and every other person we will hear in the future as ABSOLUTE FACT!

  • nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney

    LAPD & OCPD are no longer "protecting" the public.

    They are protecting themselves and their VIP bosses

  • Hal Christian

    The first person in an altercation seems right until other versions are voiced. Why don't we wait for the whole story to surface before hanging someone first ?
    If reliable info is allowed to surface , you can make a better call.
    Surely the media and those who dispense official info are above lying to the public aren't they ?
    Chill out and defer to your gray matter instead of emotions and agenda's.

    Hal

    • Fluidizer

      It's one thing to be non-judgmental, and another to be a blithering idiot. Read his manifesto and the messages he has sent and inform yourself, then get back with us. What kind of civil "altercation" could possibly justify killing a young girl and her fiance, and threatening to kill more in your chilled out mind?

  • Unknown

    It’s crazy cause I work in the same mall her ex she we work in the miracle mile shops she is a hair dresser in the salon there. So crazy cause she known him blows my mind.

  • Mary

    Who is going to protect us from the LAPD when they execute Dorner? .They will quickly bury all this and continue business as usual. The streets are no longer safe with all these trigger happy cops out there.shooting at random. and claiming mistaken identity.

    • moonnuit

      But we must give up all our firearms to the Police and the Government..that way The UN will see the atrocities committed by the LAPD

  • Sven

    Really intersting how the cops are so intent on catching this guy. Shoot a cop and they move heaven and earth to catch the person. Shoot us, there employers, and just the business as usual attitude. Unions

  • XonXoff

    Those supercharged-militarized government agents certainly 'neutralized' those two terrorists in the blue truck.

    They and their bosses must be pretty surprised and disturbed to see how many private Citizens are more concerned with out-of-control government and its heavily armed, jackbooted agents than they are of the occasional private Citizen who goes spinning over the edge.

  • sleeperd

    OK..this is now too weird for words. I spent 6 years in the USN and I have never heard of ANYBODY with a background like this. First of all, the media never stated what branch of the military he was in for the first 3 days of coverage..which is weird in itself. Then we finally find out he's a Naval Officer…trained as a sharpshooter/sniper..!?? I don't think so…then we hear that he has SCUBA/underwater experience..and then he's trained in Riverine Warfare..now we hear he received flight training at Fallon NAAS, NV..!!??
    WTF?? Either the media is having a complete info meltdown or this guy is off the charts in terms of military background.

    • SoCal

      Second day I heard report he was working in gulf with oil Riggs and tugs he is big enough to do that kinda work. One navy seal instructor I know and previously worked with injured his back protecting oil rigs during dessert storm.

  • mike

    He'll be caught when he's ready… LAPD, just admit you screwed another black man so yall white boys could get over some how, and the stalking and killing goes away.

  • JBnID

    Dorner is determined to tell his story. He has done exactly that in a way nobody can ignore. I suspect he will drive home the point in a most dramatic way. It's suicide by cop, with a twist.
    You can bet there are screenwriters already putting together the script and wondering what twist and turns this might take before it's over.

    • jespasinthru

      I disagree. I've read his entire manifesto, and he doesn't seem like the type who would take the coward's way out. The man is very bitter, and thirsting for vengeance. If he committed "suicide by cop", he would feel that he did not complete his "mission". But what do I know? I'm no psychologist, that's just my take on the situation.

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