Irvine, CA - Police are waging an intensive manhunt across Southern California for a former Los Angeles cop wanted in connection with a double murder and suspected of going on a revenge shooting spree targeting other cops.
Overnight shootings in Riverside County that left one officer dead and two wounded have been linked to the former Los Angeles officer, Christopher Dorner, who was named as a suspect in the slaying of a young couple here Sunday.
Thursday, his pickup truck, the object of a regionwide search, was found burned off a forestry road in a remote area of the San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. Dorner was not found, he said, and local law enforcement officers were searching the Big Bear mountain ski area, including homes in the resort area.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck called on Dorner to turn himself in: "This has gone far enough. Nobody else needs to die."
He said Dorner "has multiple weapons at his disposal including assault rifles,'' and has police and military training.
Beck said Los Angeles police have launched more than 40 protective details to provide security for law enforcement personnel and others who they believe Dorner targeted, based on an Internet posting.
Across Southern California, digital traffic signs carried alerts urging motorists to report any sight of Dorner, believed to be driving a Nissan Titan pickup and considered armed and dangerous.
"I don't think there's anybody in law enforcement who isn't looking for him, along with about half the commuters in Southern California,'' said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen.
Beck said Dorner was threatening and targeting law enforcement officers specifically and in general.
"LAPD is a specific target but all law enforcement is targeted,'' Beck said, adding that Dorner had "a vendetta against all Southern California law enforcement.''
Police in San Diego early Thursday recovered a badge and ID bearing Dorner's photograph, Hassen said. The items were found by a citizen near the San Diego airport, given to a shuttle bus driver and passed to police, he said.
Also in San Diego, Hassen said a person matching Dorner's description attempted to steal a boat from a marina Wednesday night but abandoned the effort after he was unable to get the engine started and the boat unmoored. "We're waiting for forensic evidence to see if it was Dorner,'' Hassen said.
Police across the region were responding to reported sightings, and some proved to be mistaken. Beck attributed a pair of shootings by police officers in Torrance, south of Los Angeles, to mistaken identity. In one of the instances, officers fired on two women who were in a blue pickup truck delivering newspapers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz said his two officers were stopped at a traffic light when they were hit with multiple gunshots fired from a rifle by someone in a truck that pulled up next to them. Killed was one 34-year-old officer with 11 years on the force. Another officer, 27, is expected to recover from his injuries, Diaz said.
Irvine Police Chief David Maggard named Dorner Wednesday night as the suspect in the slayings of Monica Quan, 28, an assistant basketball coach at California State University-Fullerton, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a University of Southern California campus security officer.
Quan is the daughter of Randy Quan, a retired LAPD captain who was involved in the review process that ultimately led to Dorner's dismissal from the force.
The couple were found dead of multiple gunshots in their car outside their Irvine condominium Sunday night.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a written statement that it was cooperating and that Dorner "has made threats against members of the LAPD, and we are taking those threats very seriously.'' It said police were taking steps to protect personnel and citizens that may have been threatened.
"Dorner is to be considered armed and extremely dangerous and we ask that anyone who sees Dorner, to not approach or attempt contacting him, but to immediately call 911 and notify law enforcement authorities,'' the Los Angeles police statement said.
Dorner was a Los Angeles officer from 2005 until 2008, when he was terminated, the department said.
Two overnight shootings were linked to the investigation, the first in the city of Corona, where two LAPD officers were providing security. One officer was grazed by a bullet, Beck said.
Maggard said Dorner implicated himself in the killings in a "manifesto" that included threats against several people, including members of the LAPD.
In his online manifesto, the Los Angeles Times reported, Dorner wrote in reference to Quan and others, "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."
"The violence of action will be high," he wrote. "I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty."
"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, according to the newspaper.
The slayings of Quan and Lawrence shocked this suburban city that prides itself on having one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.
Randy Quan was the first Chinese-American to attain the rank of captain on the LAPD force, the department has said. He later served as chief of police at Cal Poly-Pomona, part of the California State University system.