Dorner: Gun found near site of crashed getaway car could be ex-cop's
San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies are looking into whether a semiautomatic pistol found near where Christopher Dorner crashed a getaway car Tuesday belonged to the ex-police officer.
A passerby spotted the P22 in the snow off Glass Road on Friday morning and notified authorities, who cordoned the area off to investigate. The gun, which appeared to have some sort of suppressor and scope, was found not far from where Dorner crashed and abandoned a purple Nissan that he stole from a Big Bear-area couple Tuesday morning.
The body of the former Los Angeles police officer— accused of killing four people and wounding three others — was found Tuesday in the charred rubble of a cabin near Seven Oaks.
His alleged crimes began Feb. 3 with the deaths of Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a USC public safety officer. Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD official who represented Dorner at a disciplinary hearing that led to Dorner's firing.
According to a manifesto that officials say Dorner posted on Facebook, he felt the LAPD unjustly fired him, when a disciplinary panel determined that he lied in accusing his training officer of kicking a mentally ill man during an arrest. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has promised to review the case.
While on the run last week, Dorner allegedly fired upon police in two incidents in Riverside County. One Los Angeles police officer was grazed in the head in Corona. A short time later, authorities said Dorner "ambushed" two Riverside police officers sitting at a red light in Riverside.
Officer Michael Crain, 34, was killed in the Riverside shooting, and his partner was seriously injured.
Southern California spent days on edge as authorities crisscrossed the region looking for any sign of the 33-year-old Navy reservist. Statewide alerts were issued in California and Nevada, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration warned pilots and border authorities were notified.
The massive manhunt focused on Big Bear on Feb. 7, when Dorner's burning pickup was found on a forest road. Hundreds of officers scoured the mountain community but found no new signs of Dorner, and they scaled the search back after the weekend.
But Dorner resurfaced Tuesday morning, when Jim and Karen Reynolds went to clean their Big Bear-area condo and found the fugitive inside. Dorner — who the couple said brandished a "big gun" and yelled, "Stay calm!" — tied the couple up, stole their Nissan and drove off.
After Dorner left, Karen Reynolds managed to grab a cellphone and call 911, setting into motion the chain of events that would ultimately bring an end to Dorner's alleged killing rampage.
California Fish and Wildlife officers spotted Dorner in the stolen Nissan, which Dorner crashed on Glass Road. He stole a pickup from a local park ranger but was spotted again by another Fish and Wildlife warden, opened fire and fled to the cabin near Seven Oaks. An intense gun battle ensued as authorities swarmed the area.
Two San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were hit during the firefight. Deputy Jeremiah MacKay was killed. The second deputy, Alex Collins, has undergone multiple surgeries and is expected to make a full recovery, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
Dorner ignored commands to come out of the cabin, and efforts to flush him out with tear gas failed, sources said. Authorities eventually used a more powerful tear gas that often causes fires. The cabin caught fire and burned to the ground.
Authorities announced Thursday that the body found inside had been positively identified as Dorner's.
— Kate Mather in Los Angeles and Mark Boster in Big Bear
Photo: Deputies examined a semiautomatic pistol found Friday in the snow off Glass Road, near the spot where Christopher Dorner crashed a getaway car in the Big Bear area on Tuesday. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times