Huge Reward Offered in Search for Christopher Dorner
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — A huge bounty is being offered for Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD officer who is suspected in three murders.
The LAPD is hoping that an unprecedented $1 million reward will lead to Dorner’s capture before he kills again.
“This is the largest local reward ever offered to our knowledge,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference on Sunday.
“Some may ask, ‘Why so large’” he continued, adding, “This is an act — and make no mistake about it — of domestic terrorism.”
“We will not tolerate a killer targeting our officers and their families, targeting innocent people,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa echoed.
Federal and local law enforcement agents are hunting the former police officer turned suspected killer and fugitive.
The LAPD has received over 600 tips from the public that they are following up on, Lt. Andy Neiman said at a news conference Monday morning.
A tactical alert that was declared on Sunday afternoon amid the manhunt for Dorner and providing security for the Grammys has been canceled.
In a tactical alert, officers can be held over on their shifts and do not respond to low-priority calls.
There are hundreds of officers working on the case, Neiman said.
No one has seen Dorner or his tracks since his truck was found in Big Bear last Thursday, sparking an exhaustive, days-long search.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department now says that it is scaling back its search in the Big Bear area.
At one point, the search had involved some 200 officers, but now the number is down to 30, sheriff’s officials said on Monday.
They are continuing to search vacation homes and government lease cabins in an even more remote area, with aerial support available if needed.
There have been no sightings of Dorner in the Big Bear area, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller.
Bear Valley Unified schools were open on Monday with additional security measures and law enforcement present, district officials said.
The schools had been closed on Friday as a precaution. The ski resorts in the area re-opened Friday after closing early on Thursday.
Meantime, there’s a new warning from the TSA that Dorner, 33, who is also a Navy reservist, may be able to pilot a plane.
The TSA says that Dorner received some kind of flight training while he was in the Navy.
Authorities are not sure about the extent of his flight skills, but they want airports and pilots to watch out for any suspicious activity.
The warning asks them to secure aircraft, verify cargo and passengers and keep an eye out for unknown pilots and personnel.
It also warns airport officials to be on the lookout for altered IDs and to report any aircraft thefts immediately.
Dorner has declared war on the LAPD, following his dismissal from the force in 2009 for allegedly making false claims about his training officer.
He is accused of killing three people, including the daughter of a retired LAPD captain and her fiance and a Riverside police officer.
Investigators are scrutinizing a conspiracy-laden manifesto published on what they believe was Dorner’s Facebook page.
It threatened “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against police officers and their families, saying he had no choice but to kill to reclaim his reputation.
The LAPD has announced that it is reopening an investigation into Dorner’s dismissal from the department.
Beck said he was not reopening the case in order to appease Dorner, but to assure the public that the department is fair and transparent.
The new reward being offered may prompt even more tips and information surrounding the elusive murder suspect.
Police say they are following up on all leads, including a reported sighting at a Lowe’s home improvement store in Northridge on Sunday evening.
A SWAT team was called to the store near the Northridge Fashion Center around 5 p.m. after people reported seeing someone who resembled Dorner.
Employees and customers were evacuated and surrounding streets were closed, and officers checked all cars leaving the area.
Dorner was not found, and police have called it a case of mistaken identity.
Anyone with information on the case or Dorner’s whereabouts is asked to call the LAPD tip line at: 213-486-6860.