Dorner stalked LAPD officials before killings, Chief Beck says
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that Christopher Dorner stalked his potential targets connected to the department in the time before he allegedly began a series of deadly shootings.
"We believe based on our investigation, Dorner did his homework," Beck said.
Beck did not provide details but said "indications he was at some of the homes."
Dorner, who allegedly blamed several LAPD officials for his firing, visited the home of a police captain in early January, according to several law enforcement sources.
The fired LAPD officer went to the door of the captain’s South Bay home but because the official's wife did not recognize him she did not open the door, according to two sources.
It was one of several visits he made to LAPD homes in the time before he was named a suspect in a double slaying, according to law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.
Dorner is accused of killing the daughter of an retired LAPD captain and her fiance as well as two law enforcement officers. Irvine police said they believe Dorner may have stalked the woman as well.
Dorner spent his final hours barricaded inside a mountain cabin armed with a high-powered rifle, smoke bombs and a cache of ammunition, ignoring commands to surrender until a single gunshot ended his life, authorities said Friday.
The evidence indicates that Dorner, who also allegedly wounded three others, held a gun to his head and fired while the Big Bear area cabin caught fire, ignited by police tear gas.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, during a news conference Friday, offered the most detailed account yet of the manhunt and final shootout, which left one of his deputies dead and another seriously wounded. McMahon steadfastly defended the tactics used by his agency, dismissing assertions that deputies may have botched the hunt for Dorner or deliberately set the cabin on fire.
"We stand confident in our actions on that fateful day," he said. "The bottom line is the deputy sheriffs of this department, and the law enforcement officers from the surrounding area, did an outstanding job. They ran into the line of fire. They were being shot at, and didn't turn around in retreat."
During Tuesday's shootout, a television news crew recorded law enforcement officials shouting to burn the cabin down. McMahon acknowledged the comments were made, but said they did not come from the department's tactical team or commanders on the scene.
"They had just been involved in probably one most of the most fierce firefights," he said of the people heard on the recording. "And sometimes, because we're humans, we say things that may or may not be appropriate. We will look into this and we will deal it appropriately."
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.
Sheriff's Capt. Gregg Herbert, who led the assault on the cabin, said the canisters were used only as a last resort after Dorner continued firing at deputies and did not respond when "cold," less intense tear gas was shot into the wood-framed dwelling.
-- Richard Winton