Ex-cop manhunt: Snowstorm may hamper Big Bear search
As a cold winter storm moved toward the Big Bear area, residents Thursday evening watched and waited as authorities continued their search for a former Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with a deadly shooting spree.
Christopher Dorner, 33, was believed to be in the area, where authorities earlier found his burned pickup truck on a mountain road.
The fugitive former Los Angeles Police Department officer is accused of killing three people and wounding two others in attacks in Orange and Riverside counties.
In a rambling manifesto that police say Dorner posted on what they believe was his Facebook page, the former Naval reserve officer described himself as a man trained to survive in harsh conditions.
The threat created by Dorner was unsettling for some residents in the mountain community, where authorities were going door-to-door to search about 400 homes.
"We're all just stressed," said Andrea Burton, who was at a convenience store picking up snacks for a long night locked down at home.
She said city buildings were on lockdown and that no one is being let in or out of the area without an escort as the FBI and police officers from across the region scoured the mountains for the suspected killer.
Authorities searched hundreds of homes, police roamed the area with search dogs and officers could be seen with rifles along local roads.
Jim Lyon said he was ready. "I'm just sitting here with my 9mm on my lap," he told The Times.
The storm, which generated in the Gulf of Alaska, was expected to begin hitting the area after midnight. Up to 6 inches of snow could blanket local mountains, the National Weather Service said.
"As the storm gets closer, winds are going to be picking up," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Moede.
Gusts up to 50 mph could hit the region, he said, creating a wind-chill factor of 15 to 20 degrees.
--Joseph Serna and Phil Willon in Big Bear and Robert J. Lopez in Los Angeles
Photo: Law enforcement officials stand around the burned-out truck police believe suspect Christopher Dorner used to leave the scene of a homicide in Riverside on Thursday morning. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times