Dragnet for ex-cop wanted in killings spreads across California
A growing dragnet for a suspect wanted in the double homicide and the shootings of three police officers failed to find the alleged gunman.
Law enforcement authorities Thursday morning responded to the San Diego Naval Base after a report that the suspect, former LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, might be holed up in a hotel. More than a dozen patrol cars and San Diego and military police officers swooped down on the scene, but Dorner was not there, authorities told The Times.
Officials broadened the alert to include the entire state Thursday morning, and authorities in Nevada were warned.
The California Highway Patrol originally issued a "blue alert" for nine Southern California counties, warning that Dorner, 33, was considered "armed and extremely dangerous," early Thursday. Shortly after 9 a.m. that alert was broadened to the include the entire state.
A statewide “high alert” was sent out about 8:30 a.m. across Nevada for Dorner, authorities with the Nevada Highway Patrol said.
Local, state and federal authorities are involved in the search for Dorner, who is believed to have threatened "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against police in a manifesto posted on what authorities believe is his Facebook page.
Dorner also threatened more than two dozen people -- including police officials -- in his manifesto. Officers from around Southern California have been deployed to protect those people. In some cases, police said, those at risk have relocated for their safety.
When asked if police felt they were under attack, Riverside Police Lt. Guy Toussaint said: “Based on the circumstances of the shooting, yes I do.”
Hours after authorities announced they were looking for Dorner in connection with a double homicide in Orange County, the search intensified after three police officers were shot in Riverside County and Dorner was identified as a possible suspect.
Freeway signs urged motorists to call 911 if they saw the suspect's vehicle as officers patrolled the streets near one of the Riverside County crime scenes with rifles at the ready. Los Angeles police were on a citywide tactical alert.
The first shooting Thursday occurred about 1:30 a.m. in Corona, where two Los Angeles Police Department officers were providing protection for someone mentioned in Dorner's manifesto, officials said. One officer suffered a graze wound to the head during a shootout and Dorner fled the scene, police said.
A short time later, two Riverside officers were shot at the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Arlington Avenue in Riverside. Toussaint said the officers were sitting at a red light when they were ambushed. One was killed, the other was undergoing surgery Thursday morning.
In the online manifesto, Dorner specifically named the father of Monica Quan, the Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach who was found dead Sunday in Irvine along with her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Randy Quan, a retired LAPD captain, was involved in the review process that ultimately led to Dorner’s dismissal. A former U.S. Navy reservist, Dorner was fired in 2009 for allegedly making false statements about his training officer. In the manifesto, he complained that Randy Quan and others did not fairly represent him at the review hearing.
“The violence of action will be high .... I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty," Dorner wrote.
Later Thursday, before dawn, two officer-involved shootings occurred in Torrance after police encountered across vehicles they thought might be Dorner's.
The first Torrance incident occurred about 5:20 a.m. in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue in Torrance, Lt. Devin Chase said. That incident involved Los Angeles police detectives from the Hollywood division, sources said.
Two women delivering newspapers were struck by gunfire and transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries, Chase said. The women were not identified. No officers were injured.
The second incident, which involved Torrance police officers, occurred at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street about 5:45 a.m. No injuries were reported in that incident.
Chase said both incidents involved vehicles matching the description of the one Dorner is believed to be driving.
"Now it appears neither of them are directly related," Chase said. "In both of them, officers believed they were at the time."
Authorities said they believe Dorner attempted to steal a boat from an elderly man about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Point Loma Yacht Club in San Diego, hours before the shootings in Riverside County.
The boat owner reported being accosted by a burly man who tied him up, threatened him with a gun and said he wanted the boat to flee to Mexico.
But while they were trying to get underway, a rope became entangled in the propeller and the boat was inoperable, authorities said.
The suspect fled the scene and the boat owner was unharmed.About 2 a.m., a citizen reported finding property belonging to Dorner on a street near Lindbergh Field, not far from the scene of the attempted boat theft. The property included a briefcase and Dorner's LAPD badge.
— Andrew Blankstein, Kate Mather, Phil Willon and Tony Perry
Photo: Riverside police investigators at the shooting scene at Arlington and Magnolia avenues. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times