Dorner Manhunt Leads Police to Lowe’s in Northridge

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NORTHRIDGE — The manhunt for fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner led LAPD SWAT officers to a Northridge Lowe’s home improvement store on Sunday.

LAPD swarmed the store off Nordhoff Street about 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.

The search came several hours after the LAPD issued a tactical alert as it handled the Dorner manhunt as well as security for the Grammys.

Sunday’s tactical alert was declared shortly after 2 p.m.

In a tactical alert, officers can be held over on their shifts and do not respond to low-priority radio calls.

Also on Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s capture.

The city of Los Angeles, law enforcement organizations, private groups and anonymous donors have all contributed to the reward fund, according to law enforcement sources.

“We will not tolerate anyone undermining the security of this community,” Villaraigosa said at a news conference. “We will not tolerate this reign of terror.”

Dorner allegedly carried out the slayings as part of a vengeful campaign sparked by his 2009 dismissal from the Los Angeles Police Department, authorities said.

Officials hope the huge reward will give police the break they’ve been waiting for.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said the reward was “the largest local reward ever offered to our knowledge.”

“This is an act of domestic terrorism,” Beck said of those killed and allegedly targeted by Dorner. “He has targeted those we entrust to protect the public.”

The massive manhunt for Dorner began last week, and has gone from Riverside to Corona to Point Loma in San Diego to Big Bear.

Dorner’s Nissan Titan pickup was found Thursday morning engulfed in flames on a mountain road in the Big Bear area.

Law enforcement officials have since focused their search efforts there. Officials said Sunday that the search in Big Bear was winding down.

On Saturday, Beck announced that he was reopening the investigation into the firing of  Dorner from the Police Department.

Beck said he was reopening the investigation “not to appease a murderer” but to assure the public his department is fair and transparent.

He said he wanted to protect an “increasingly positive relationship with the community” that the LAPD has developed over the last few years.

Meanwhile, more information was released about the Riverside police officer killed Thursday.

Michael Crain was an 11-year veteran of the department. Crain, 34, was killed when he and his partner were allegedly fired upon by Dorner.

Authorities say Dorner ambushed Crain and his 27-year-old partner when they were stopped at a red light at Arlington and Magnolia avenues in Riverside early Thursday morning.

Crain’s partner, who was also struck by gunfire, is expected to survive.

Crain served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines, according to a news release.

He leaves behind his wife, a 10-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Grove Community Church in Riverside.

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