Villaraigosa asks L.A. to 'remain alert' during manhunt for ex-cop
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked Angelenos to "remain alert" as a manhunt continued Thursday for an ex-police officer suspected of a double homicide and shooting three police officers, killing one.
Villaraigosa also urged residents to call 911 if they saw anything suspicious.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those so senselessly slain in this tragedy," the mayor said in a statement. "I have full confidence that the men and women of the LAPD and dozens of other law enforcement agencies around Southern California are working with the utmost urgency to apprehend the killer."
Local, state and federal authorities are involved in a manhunt for Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, who threatened "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against police in what authorities said was an online manifesto posted on what they believe is his Facebook page. Dorner is also wanted in connection with a double homicide Sunday in Irvine, where the daughter of a retired Los Angeles Police Department captain and her fiance were killed.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Dorner had multiple weapons at his disposal, including an assault rifle, and called the ex-LAPD officer and former Navy reserve lieutenant "armed and extremely dangerous."
When asked what he might say to Dorner, Beck replied: "I would tell him to turn himself in. This has gone far enough. No one else needs to die."
Beck urged anyone who sees Dorner to immediately call 911 and not approach him.
The search intensified early Thursday — and warnings spread across California and Nevada — after three police officers were shot in Riverside County and Dorner was identified as a possible suspect.
The first shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. Thursday in Corona, where two LAPD officers were providing protection for someone mentioned in Dorner's supposed 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, authorities said.“Our officers were stopped at an intersection at a red light when they were ambushed," Lt. Guy Toussaint said. "Because of the close proximity to the timeline, we believe there is a strong likelihood that former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner was involved in our incident.”
As authorities swarmed the area, two officer-involved shootings occurred in Torrance after police encountered suspicious vehicles.
The first Torrance incident occurred about 5:20 a.m. in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue, said Lt. Devin Chase. That incident involved Los Angeles police detectives from the Hollywood division, sources said.
Beck said police were in the area on protection detail for one of the officials mentioned in the manifesto when authorities received information a vehicle matching the description of Dorner's was seen in the area.
Police then observed a vehicle with its lights turned off and approached it, at which point the shooting occurred. Beck said the two women inside the vehicle were struck and taken to an area hospital. One suffered a minor wound; the other, who was struck twice, was in stable condition, Beck said.
Sources said the women were delivering newspapers.
“Tragically, we believe this is a case of mistaken identity,” Beck said.
The second incident, which involved Torrance police officers, occurred at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street about 5:45 a.m., Chase said. 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 San Diego's main commercial airport, Lindbergh Field, not far from the scene of the attempted boat theft. The property included a briefcase and Dorner's LAPD badge.
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.
-- Kate Mather
Photo: LAPD personnel display pictures of Christopher Jordan Dorner during a news conference Thursday at LAPD headquarters. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times