Local News

Tuesday, Feb 12 2013 01:30 PM

Ex-Los Angeles cop barricaded in S. Calif. cabin

BY GILLIAN FLACCUS AND TAMI ABDOLLAH The Associated Press

BIG BEAR -- A man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings barricaded himself inside a cabin after a shootout in a Southern California mountain town Tuesday, wounding one officer, and according to the Los Angeles Times killing another, and raising the possibility the nearly week-old hunt for America's most wanted man may be coming to an end.

Police surrounded the cabin in the snow-covered woods of Big Bear, a resort town about 80 miles east of Los Angeles where authorities have focused their hunt for Christopher Dorner since they said he had launched a campaign to exact revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing.

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Key events in hunt for ex-LA cop, suspected killer

Key events in the expansive, ongoing manhunt for Christopher Dorner, the fired Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing three people -- including a police officer in Southern California -- and posting a manifesto on Facebook outlining plans to kill the families of those he says have wronged him, all times approximate:

Sunday, Feb. 3: An assistant women's college basketball coach and her fiance are found shot to death in their car in Irvine, Calif. Police learn later the woman was the daughter of a retired Los Angeles police captain who represented Dorner in disciplinary hearings that resulted in his dismissal from the force.

Monday, Feb. 4: Some of Dorner's belongings, including police equipment, are found in a trash bin in suburban San Diego, linking him to Irvine killings.

Wednesday, Feb. 6: Police announce finding Dorner's manifesto online.

10:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6: A man matching Dorner's description makes a failed attempt to steal a boat from a San Diego marina. An 81-year-old man on the vessel is tied up but otherwise unharmed.

1:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7: LAPD officers, protecting a person named in the manifesto, chase a vehicle they believe is Dorner's. One officer is grazed in the forehead by a bullet during a shootout, and the gunman flees.

A short time later, a shooter believed to be Dorner ambushes two Riverside police officers during a routine patrol. One officer is killed, and the other critically injured.

2:20 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7: A shuttle bus driver turns in a wallet with an LAPD badge and a picture ID of Dorner to San Diego police. The wallet was found fewer than five miles from the boat, near San Diego International Airport.

5 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7: LAPD officers guarding a manifesto target in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance open fire on a truck they mistakenly believe to be Dorner's. A mother and daughter delivering the newspaper are injured.

A short time later, Torrance police are involved in a second shooting involving a different truck they also mistake for Dorner's. Nobody is hurt.

8:35 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7: Police find a burned-out pickup truck near the Big Bear ski area in the San Bernardino Mountains. Six hours later, authorities identify it as Dorner's.

9:40 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7: Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego is locked down after a Navy worker reports seeing someone who resembles Dorner. Military officials later said Dorner had indeed checked into a hotel on base earlier in the week -- on Tuesday -- but had left on Wednesday.

4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7: Authorities search a Las Vegas-area home belonging to Dorner and leave with several boxes of items. They say no weapons were found but decline to disclose what was discovered.

Friday, Feb. 8: Dozens of searchers hunt for Dorner in the freezing, snowy San Bernardino Mountains after losing his footprints near the site where the truck was found. Authorities search Dorner's mother's house in La Palma and collect 10 bags of evidence and also take five electronic items for examination. Police also search a storage locker in Buena Park.

Saturday, Feb. 9: Helicopters equipped with heat-seeking technology resume search for Dorner in the mountains near Big Bear. Authorities reveal that weapons and camping gear were found in Dorner's burned truck.

Sunday, Feb. 10: Authorities announce $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's arrest.

Monday, Feb. 11: Riverside County prosecutors charge Dorner with murdering a police officer and the attempted murder of three other officers in a potential death penalty case. Authorities receive more than 700 tips since the reward was announced.

Thursday, Feb. 12: A person believed to be Dorner exchanges gunfire with Southern California authorities in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Authorities say Dorner threatened to bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families, spreading fear and setting off a search for him across three states and Mexico.

"Enough is enough. It's time for you to turn yourself in. It's time to stop the bloodshed," LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference held outside police headquarters in Los Angeles, a starkly different atmosphere than last week when officials briefed the news media under tight security with Dorner on the loose.

If the man inside the cabin does prove to be Dorner, it will both lower tensions among the more than 40 targets police say he listed in an online rant. It would also raise them for law enforcement officers who are engaged in a standoff with a former Navy reservist who has warned that he knows their tactics as well as they do.

Until Tuesday, authorities didn't know whether he was still near Big Bear, where they found his burned-out pickup last week.

Around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, deputies got a report of a stolen vehicle, authorities said. The location was directly across the street from where law enforcement set up their command post on Thursday and not far from where Dorner's burned-out pickup was abandoned.

The people whose vehicle was stolen described the suspect as looking similar to Dorner. When authorities found the vehicle, the suspect ran into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller said the first exchange of gunfire involved state Fish and Wildlife wardens at 12:42 p.m., and then there was a second exchange with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, two of whom were wounded. Authorities have not released information on the extent of their injuries.

Police say Dorner began his run on Feb. 6 after they connected the slayings of a former police captain's daughter and her fiance with an angry Facebook rant they said he posted. Threats against the LAPD led officials to assign officers to protect officers and their families.

Within hours of the release of photos of the 6-foot, 270-pounder described as armed and "extremely dangerous," police say, Dorner unsuccessfully tried to steal a boat in San Diego to flee to Mexico and then ambushed police in Riverside County, shooting three and killing one.

Jumpy officers guarding one of the targets named in the rant in Torrance on Thursday shot and injured two women delivering newspapers because they mistook their pickup truck for Dorner's.

Police found charred weapons and camping gear inside the truck in Big Bear.

Helicopters using heat-seeking technology searched the forest from above while scores of officers, some using bloodhounds, scoured the ground and checked hundreds of vacation cabins -- many vacant this time of year -- in the area.

A snowstorm hindered the search and may have helped cover his tracks, though authorities were hopeful he would leave fresh footprints if hiding in the wilderness.

Dorner's anger with the department dated back at least five years, when he was fired for filing a false report accusing his training officer of kicking a mentally ill suspect. Dorner, who is black, claimed in the rant that he was the subject of racism by the department and fired for doing the right thing.

He said he would get even with those who wronged him as part of his plan to reclaim his good name.

"You're going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!" the rant said. "You have awoken a sleeping giant."

Chief Charlie Beck, who initially dismissed the allegations in the rant, said he would reopen the investigation into his firing -- not to appease the ex-officer, but to restore confidence in the black community, which long had a fractured relationship with police that has improved in recent years.

One of the targets listed in the manifesto was former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who represented Dorner before the disciplinary board. Dorner claimed he put the interests of the department above his.

The first victims were Quan's daughter, Monica Quan, 28, a college basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27. They were shot multiple times in their car in a parking garage near their condo.

Dorner served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.

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