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Manhunt for Former Cop Christopher Dorner

dorner-bgAuthorities have positively identified the remains found in a burned cabin in the Big Bear area as those of fugitive former cop Christopher Dorner.

 

The identification brought to and end the intense manhunt for the quadruple murder suspect.

Dorner is believed to have penned an angry manifesto saying he was unfairly fired from the LAPD and was seeking vengeance.

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DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters downtown Saturday afternoon, holding signs of support for Christopher Dorner, the fired police officer suspected of killing four people.

Those gathered said they were protesting police corruption and the way the massive manhunt for Dorner was conducted. Authorities said Dorner appears to have died from a self-inflected gunshot wound after a shootout with police in Big Bear on Tuesday, ending a deadly rampage that stretched across Southern California.

Protesters said they believed Dorner’s claims that he was unfairly fired from the department in 2009 – grievances described in a lengthy online manifesto that has been attributed to him. Dorner also claimed that he was the victim of racism.

Protesters also said they were appalled by police mistakenly shooting at passengers in two separate trucks in Torrance, wrongly believing Dorner might be in the vehicles. One woman was shot in the back and is still recovering.

The protesters emphasized that they did not condone the killings of which Dorner is accused.

Michael Nam, 30, stood at the corner of 1st and Main Streets with a sign, painted by his girlfriend, showing a tombstone and the words “RIP Habeas Corpus.” The tombstone was engulfed in flames.

Nam, of Lomita, said he was disturbed by the burning of a mountain cabin near Big Bear where Dorner barricaded himself with a high-powered sniper rifle, smoke bombs and a cache of ammo. The blaze started shortly after police fired “pyrotechnic” tear gas into the cabin; the canisters are known as “burners” because the intense heat they emit often causes a fire.

But authorities have maintained that the fire was not intentionally set.

Dorner, whose charred body was found in the cabin, appears to have died of a single gunshot wound to the head, authorities said.

“How the police handled this -– they were the judge, the jury and the executioner,” Nam said. “As an American citizen, you have the right to a trial and due process by law.”

Nam, a former Marine and a current member of the Army National Guard, said he has combat experience from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said he has been in situations in which a combatant has been barricaded and successfully waited until the person surrendered, eventually getting “tired and coming out on their own.”

Nam said it was “pretty obvious” police wanted Dorner dead. “What I saw was a complete disregard for the Bill of Rights,” Nam said.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, during a news conference Friday, defended the tactics used by his agency in the shootout at the mountain cabin, which left one of his deputies dead and another seriously wounded.

“The bottom line is the deputy sheriffs of this department, and the law enforcement officers from the surrounding area, did an outstanding job,” he said. “They ran into the line of fire.”

Protesters on Saturday said they organized the event through a Facebook page called “I support Christopher Jordan Dorner.” The Facebook post announcing the protest tells attendees to “keep it PEACEFUL” and to bring recording equipment.

The Facebook page states: “This is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”

As the protesters stood Saturday, drivers passing by honked, waved and gave thumbs up. A handful of officers watched from police headquarters across the street.

Nam said he spoke to the officers before the protest began about what the protesters should do to keep the event peaceful. He said the officers were respectful.

The protesters marched around the block, circling an intersection near the department headquarters. They chanted, “LAPD, you are guilty.”

Signs expressed anger at police and support for Dorner.

“If you’re not enraged, you’re not paying attention,” one sign read.

“Why couldn’t we hear his side?”

“Clear his name! Christopher Dorner”

Liliana Alaniz, 40, came with her family -– her mother, sister, nieces and daughters -– from Long Beach to join the protest, which she said was her first.

“I really, really believe he was innocent in the firing case,” Alaniz said of Dorner.

Alaniz held a sign that read, “Trying to clear your name.”

Her daughter, Andrea Tovar, said Dorner “has his supporters.”

“Murder is never right, but neither is the law when it’s unjust,” said Tovar, 18. She said police need to know they “can’t get away with everything.”

Los Angeles Times

BIG BEAR, Calif. (KTLA) — Remains found in a burned cabin have been positively identified as those of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

“The charred human remains located in the burned out cabin in Seven Oaks have been positively identified to be that of Christopher Dorner,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff and coroner’s office said in a written statement.

“During the autopsy, positive identification was made through dental examination,” the statement said. No cause of death was given.

The charred body was found in the rubble of the cabin that burned down after a dramatic gun battle Tuesday afternoon.

Dorner’s last stand with law enforcement came after a gun battle with San Bernardino deputies that brought his death toll up to four.

Dorner seriously wounded one deputy and killed another. Deputy Jeremiah MacKay leaves behind a wife and two young children.

“The deputy sheriffs that responded to this active shooting scene yesterday were absolutely true heroes,” Sheriff John McMahon said.

“It was like war zone, and our deputies continued to go into that area and try to neutralize and stop the threat,” he added.

McMahon has denied that deputies intentionally started the fire at the cabin.

Deputies were recorded on police radio calling on a plan to bring burners into the home

“I can tell you that it was not on purpose,” McMahon told reporters. “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out.”

“Pyrotechnic-type canisters are commonly referred to as burners,” he clarified.

The department has also faced questions about how Dorner hid in another cabin –possibly for days — during the hunt for him.

The cabin was within eyesight of the deputies’ central staging area and in a place where officers searched, knocking door to door.

“I can tell you that the cabin in question had not been rented out since February 6,” said Deputy Chief Steve Kovensky. “As I said, there was an extensive search in that area of the cabins.”

Meantime, it remains unclear who — if anyone — stands to collect the $1.2 million reward that had been offered for information leading to Dorner’s capture and conviction.

The money is now in question because Dorner is dead and so he will not be tried.

The reward money is being discussed by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

Both men issued statements on Thursday saying more than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in the reward.

They say all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual or individuals qualify.

IRVINE, Calif. (KTLA) — There’s new information that Christopher Dorner collected detailed information about the Irvine couple he is accused of killing.

Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, are believed to be Dorner’s first victims in his revenge rampage.

Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain who represented Dorner in a hearing that led to his dismissal.

Investigators say Dorner shot them multiple times nearly two weeks ago, on Sunday February 3.

Their bodies were found in a car in the parking structure of their Irvine condo complex. Audio has been released from police dispatch tapes on that night.

“We have male hunched over the vehicle of a wheel of a vehicle, possibly has been shot, unknown his condition,” the dispatcher says.

“We have two subjects down in the vehicle, not sure their status,” the dispatcher later says. “Just for info, our suspect is still outstanding.”

Meantime, a newly released affidavit from Irvine police investigators provides chilling new details about the double homicide.

Detectives believe that Dorner followed and stalked his young victims for some time.

Also, their bodies were shot so many times that police believe Dorner re-loaded or used a high-capacity type magazine in the execution-style slayings.

A search warrant has revealed that, two days after the Irvine killings, Dorner was caught on surveillance tape dumping a uniform, his badge and other police gear in a National City dumpster.

He may, in fact, ahve worn his uniform during the shootings of Quan and Lawrence.

Thankfully, not all of Dorner’s targets died. Riverside Officer Andrew Tachias was wounded in the ambush that killed his partner, Officer Michael Crain.

After shoulder surgery, the 27-year-old is in stable condition, and is expected to recover from his wounds.

Signs of normalcy are slowing return to Big Bear in the wake of the deadly Dorner manhunt.  Chip Yost has the details.

wounded-officer-Tachias-smRIVERSIDE — The Riverside Police Department has released the identity of the surviving police officer who had been ambushed on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

The injured officer is Andrew Tachias. Andrew was born in 1985 in West Covina.

He attended the University of California, Riverside where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree. While at UCR, he served as a Community Service Officer.

In September 2009, Andrew was hired by the Inglewood Police Department and later attended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy as a Police Officer Trainee.

Andrew graduated from the Academy in February 2010 and was assigned to patrol.

He lateraled to the Riverside Police Department and was sworn in as a police officer on December 21, 2012.  He is assigned to Field Operations, Patrol Division for Field Training.

Officer Tachias is in stable condition at a local hospital recovering from his injuries.

The ambush took the life of his partner, Officer Michael Crain.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — As workers continue to try and identify Christopher Dorner’s body, another question is on everyone’s mind.

Who gets the the $1.1 million reward for finding him – if anyone?

The reward language stipulates that the money goes for the capture and conviction of Chris Dorner.

But Dorner is not going to be tried, since he’s believed to be dead.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck today issued the following statement about the $1 million reward posted in the Christopher Dorner case:

“Now that the search for Christopher Dorner appears to have concluded, we are addressing the issue of the $1 million reward.  More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in this reward, so all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual or individuals qualify for it.  Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect the procedures of each entity.”

Jim Nash has more.

ANGELUS OAKS, Calif. (KTLA) — San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies continue looking for answers about the final dramatic moments in the manhunt for Christopher Dorner.

They’re sifting through the rubble of the cabin that burned down after a gun battle between Dorner and deputies on Tuesday.

dorner-condoAuthorities haven’t officially confirmed that the body found in the cabin is Dorner’s, but the Sheriff John McMahon says that will happen soon.

Meanwhile, McMahon says that the manhunt for the former LAPD officer accused in four murders is now over.

Among those allegedly killed by Dorner is Det. Jeremiah McKay, who, along with another San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, was hit in the shootout on Tuesday.

“The deputy sheriffs that responded to this active shooting scene yesterday are absolutely true heroes,” McMahon said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go in to that area and try to neutralize and stop the threat,” he added.

McMahon was asked on Wednesday about how the fire at the cabin began.

Officers were overheard on the scanner talking about bringing what they called “burners” into the cabin.

The sheriff says that deputies first used traditional tear gas to try to flush Dorner out.

When that didn’t work, he says they tried CS gas. It’s a highly flammable form of tear gas, and it’s more powerful.

“It was not on purpose. We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” McMahon said on Wednesday.

“Pyrotechnic-type canisters are commonly referred to as burners,” he added.

Another question is how Dorner was able to hide for as long as he did with so many people looking for him.

He stayed for as long as five days in a condo in the 1200 block of Club View Drive, near the Bear Mountain ski resort and just a stone’s throw away from the sheriff’s command post.

The condo was in an area where deputies had supposedly gone door-to-door searching for Dorner.

“I can tell you that the cabin in question had not been rented out since Feb. 6,” Dep. Sheriff Steve Kovensky said. “As I said, there was an extensive search in that area of the cabins.”

One final question pertains to the $1.1 million reward and who might get that — if anyone.

The reward language stipulates that the money goes for the capture and conviction of Chris Dorner. But Dorner is not going to be tried, since he’s believed to be dead.

The man who Dorner allegedly carjacked says he believes he deserves the reward, and he’ll fight to collect it.

-Eric Spillman reporting

BIG BEAR — To track Christopher Dorner, police from dozens of agencies chased tips across multiple states and into Mexico. But it appears now that he found a hiding place where searchers were thickest.

dorner-condo-plain

It is unclear how long Dorner, 33, was hunkered down in the cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive, in the snowy mountains near Big Bear.

But the cabin was so close to the manhunt command post and to an adjacent press area that countless police and reporters would have fallen in his line of vision.

Questions abounded Wednesday about how Dorner managed to evade capture at the very center of the manhunt, a day after he apparently died in another cabin nearby during a police siege.

Authorities are trying to confirm whether charred remains found in the cabin, which caught fire after police lobbed incendiary tear gas inside, belonged to Dorner.

Authorities declared the manhunt over Wednesday. And the Los Angeles Police Department, which had been on frequent tactical alerts, has resumed normal operations.

Most of the protective details have been called off the 50 or so families who were threatened in an online manifesto police say Dorner wrote.

Dorner, an ex-LAPD officer embittered by his firing, killed the daughter of a retired LAPD captain, her fiance and two law officers during a nine-day rampage that began in Irvine, police say.

On Feb. 7, authorities found the smoking wreckage of Dorner’s Nissan Titan in the Big Bear area, triggering a massive search.

hideout-mapCould Dorner, who reportedly bragged about his military and survivalist skills, survive on the cold mountain?

Could he have staged the burning truck as a diversion, and already be hundreds of miles away? Was he dead?

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said the search included more than 600 cabins over eight square miles in the Big Bear area, where many of the structures are empty vacation homes.

But Jeanne Kelly, who lives blocks from where Dorner was apparently holed up, said searchers never knocked on her door.

“I think if they searched every house, they probably would’ve found him,” said Kelly, 61. “I hate to knock them.”

Jim Rose lives half a mile from the command center, and said searchers never knocked on his door either. “One friend said ‘OK, so much for the inspection,’ ” said Rose, 78.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, sheriff’s officials defended the search.

They said deputies checked the general area extensively and said they did not identify signs of forced entry at that particular cabin.

Officials said the cabin was last rented Feb. 6, a day before Dorner’s truck was found burning nearby.

Jack Gaston and his wife, Donna, said they are happy the search is over and hope life will return to normal on the mountain, where roads were closed and residents passed through multiple police checkpoints over the last week.

They said they were shocked that Dorner had still been in the area. “We figured he was five states away from here,” Donna Gaston said.

The mayhem began Feb. 3, when Monica Quan, daughter of a retired LAPD captain, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, were found shot to death in an Irvine parking garage.

Police soon found a Facebook manifesto believed to be Dorner’s, which vowed “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against police and their families for what he called his unfair firing from the LAPD.

On Feb. 7, hours after apparently trying to steal a boat in Point Loma, Dorner opened fire on two Riverside officers, killing one of them, Michael Crain.

In Torrance, police mistakenly shot at two trucks wrongly believed to be Dorner’s, hitting a 71-year-old woman in the back.

Then police found Dorner’s burning pickup truck and converged en masse on the Big Bear area.

On Tuesday afternoon, Jim and Karen Reynolds entered their condominium on Club View Drive and found Dorner hiding inside.

They said Dorner tied them up, then stole their purple Nissan. Earlier reports had indicated that two housecleaners were the people who discovered Dorner in the condo.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said game wardens spotted Dorner tailgating a school bus on Highway 38, apparently as protection against spike-strips police might deploy.

He said Dorner lost the wardens in the ensuing chase, then crashed into a snow berm.

Rick Heltebrake, a ranger at a local Boy Scout camp, said he was driving on Glass Road with his Dalmatian when he saw movement in the trees.

It was a man dressed in camouflage and a ballistics vest. He had an assault rifle. Heltebrake knew it was Dorner.

“He came at me with his gun leveled at my head,” Heltebrake said. “

I stopped, put my truck in park, raised my hands, and he said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you, just get out, start walking up the road and take your dog.’ I said, ‘Can I get her leash?’ He said ‘No, just start walking.’ “

The Fish and Wildlife spokesman said a warden, a former Marine, spotted Dorner and gave chase.

Dorner fired at the warden, blowing out the window of the warden’s vehicle and narrowly missing his head.

The warden stopped his car, pointed his semiautomatic rifle and unloaded 20 rounds at the fleeing truck.

Authorities chased Dorner into a Seven Oaks Road cabin amid a massive gun battle. A San Bernardino County deputy was killed and another badly injured.

LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said he was listening to radio traffic as it was happening.

“It was horrifying to listen to that firefight and hear those words ‘Officer down,’ ” Neiman said. “It’s the most gut-wrenching experience that you can have as a police officer.”

Law enforcement officers lobbed conventional tear gas into the cabin, but when Dorner failed to emerge they used CS gas canisters, a more intense weapon known to start fires, and sent in a demolition vehicle.

The cabin caught fire and burned down.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said deputies did not purposely burn down the cabin. He said they deployed the gas canister after they were left with no other options.

“I can tell you it was not on purpose,” he said. “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out.”

McMahon praised the deputies involved in the standoff. “It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go in the area. … Our deputies are true heroes.”

Regardless of Dorner’s presumed death, Neiman, the LAPD lieutenant, said his agency would continue examining the handling of Dorner’s disciplinary case at the LAPD, which Chief Charlie Beck had ordered.

Dorner complained that he had been fired unfairly.

In Riverside on Wednesday, police motorcycles led a lengthy procession toward a service for Crain, the slain Riverside officer.

Mary Ann Taylor, who lives down the street from the Grove Community Church where it took place, stood with her twin granddaughters and watched as police cars filed past with flashing lights.

“Put your hands over your hearts. Show some respect for them,” Taylor told the girls, and added: “I think all of us feel the sadness of the last few days.”

Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte said he was relieved that the manhunt seemed to be over.

The area was “freed of the sense of being a community that is not safe because there is a cop killer hiding in our little mountain town.”

One of Christopher Dorner’s suspected hideouts was just steps from the condo where members of the KTLA crew and reporters were staying while covering the manhunt.

Reporters Mary Beth McDade and Sara Welch describe the scene.

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