Officials hunt for ex-cop in shootings of 3 officers; 1 killed
A massive manhunt was underway Thursday morning for an ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected of shooting three police officers early Thursday, one fatally. He is also a suspect in the shooting of a couple in Irvine over the weekend.
The suspect is believed to have written an online manifesto on what authorities say is his Facebook page, threatening to harm police officials and their families, law enforcement sources said.
The three shootings early Thursday morning occurred in Riverside County.
One LAPD officer was grazed in the Corona area, law enforcement sources said. Then sometime later, two Riverside Police Department officers were shot in Riverside. One of those officers died, sources said. That shooting occurred at Magnolia and Arlington avenues. The officers were taken to Riverside Community Hospital.
Officials warned that the suspect, Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33. is armed and dangerous. Law enforcement sources said police have placed security at the homes of LAPD officials named in the online documents and believe that Dorner has numerous weapons.
Hundreds of officers were swarming around the Riverside shooting scene looking for the gunman.
The California Highway Patrol issued a "blue alert" to law enforcement:
*THE SUSPECT IS CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS*
A BLUE ALERT HAS BEEN ACTIVATED IN THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES: KERN, SANTA BARBARA, VENTURA, LOS ANGELES, SAN BERNARDINO, ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN DIEGO, AND IMPERIAL.
ON FEBRUARY 7, 2013, AT APPROXIMATELY 0122 HOURS, THE SUSPECT WAS INVOLVED IN MULTIPLE SHOOTINGS WITH MULTIPLE AGENCIES IN THE RIVERSIDE CHP AREA.
THE SUSPECT IS CHRISTOPHER JORDAN DORNER, A 33 YEAR OLD, BLACK MALE, 6 FEET TALL, 270 POUNDS, WITH BLACK HAIR, BROWN EYES, WITH AN UNKNOWN CLOTHING DESCRIPTION.
THE SUSPECT WAS LAST SEEN DRIVING A 2005 BLUE OR GRAY NISSAN TITAN, WITH A CA LICENSE PLATE OF 8D83987 or 7X09131 - THE SUSPECT MAY BE SWTICHING BETWEEN THE TWO LICENSE PLATES.
THE VEHICLE ALSO HAS SKI RACKS ON ITS ROOF.
Irvine police Wednesday night named Dorner as the suspect in the double slaying in the parking lot of an upscale Irvine apartment complex Sunday.
In the online postings, Dorner specifically named the father of Monica Quan, the Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach who was found dead Sunday, along with her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Her father, 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.
Dorner said in his online postings that being a police officer had been his life's ambition since he served in the Police Explorers program. Now that had been taken away from him, he said, and he suffered from severe depression and was filled with rage over the people who forced him from his job.
Dorner complained that Quan and others did not fairly represent him at the review hearing.
"Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over. Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family. There will be an element of surprise where you work, live, eat, and sleep," he wrote, referring to Quan and several others.
"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I'm terminating yours," he added.
The online postings indicated that Quan served as Dorner's representative at the review hearing.
Of Quan, Dorner wrote: “He doesn't work for you, your interest, or your name. He works for the department, period. His job is to protect the department from civil lawsuits being filed and their best interest which is the almighty dollar. His loyalty is to the department, not his client.”
In the document, he threatens violence against other police officers.
“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.
In his postings, Dorner seemed to allude to the Irvine slaying.
“I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name.”
Quan, 28, and Lawrence, 27, had recently become engaged and moved into the condominium complex near Concordia University, where they had played basketball and received their degrees, authorities said. Lawrence worked as a campus officer at USC.
Police said they are searching for Dorner, whose last known address is in La Palma, and said he drives a blue 2005 Nissan Titan pickup with California license 7X03191.
At the news conference, Irvine Police Chief Dave Maggard asked anyone with information to call a tip line at (949) 724-7192.
Dorner’s LAPD case began when he lodged a complaint against his field training officer, Sgt. Teresa Evans. He accused her of kicking a suspect named Christopher Gettler. An LAPD Board of Rights found that the complaint was false and terminated his employment for making false statements. He appealed the action.
He testified that he graduated from the Police Academy in February 2006 and left for a 13-month military deployment in November 2006.
“This is my last resort,” he wrote online. “The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now led to deadly consequences.”
Dorner said it was the LAPD’s fault that he lost his law enforcement and Navy careers, as well as his relationships with family and close friends. Dorner wrote that he began his law enforcement career in February 2005 and that it ended in January 2009. His Navy career began in April 2002 and ended this month.
“I lost everything,” he said, “because the LAPD took my name and knew I was innocent.”
-- Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather