Story Summary

Ex-LAPD Cop Christopher Jordan Dorner wanted for murder

Christopher Dorner, 33, is accused of killing three people as part of a long-standing grudge against the LAPD prompted by his firing in 2009.

He is believed to have penned a long, angry manifesto on Facebook saying that he was unfairly fired and was now seeking vengeance.

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The manhunt for the guy who killed Los Angeles Police and their families cost one agency more than half a million dollars.  The search for Christopher Dorner lasted six days, ending with his death.  The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department says it cost them $550,000 dollars.   They used 125 Deputies in the manhunt.   The LAPD hasn’t released its total cost.

National & World News
02/20/13

Photo for Sale

Photographs of former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner are being shopping around. Celebrity website TMZ reports photographs of Dorner’s badly scorched and partially dismembered body are up for sale.  Dorner died last Tuesday in a Big Bear cabin fire during a standoff with police.  Authorities were able to identify the remains through dental records.

(CNN) – Medical examiners have confirmed that the charred body found in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, is that of Christopher Dorner, the rogue ex-cop wanted in a string of killings around the Los Angeles area, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday.

Identification was made through dental records, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released.

Police say they tracked Dorner to a cabin south of Big Bear Lake, California, on Tuesday, leading to a shootout that killed one deputy. A SWAT team eventually stormed the cabin Tuesday evening, leading to a fire in which authorities now say Dorner died.

Authorities say Dorner launched a guerrilla war against the Los Angeles Police Department over what he considered his unfair dismissal in 2009. Police say they believe Dorner killed four people including two law enforcement officers since February 3.

BIG BEAR LAKE — Investigators on Wednesday were in the process of identifying remains found in the charred cabin where fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was believed to have been holed up.

An official told the Associated Press that a wallet and personal items, including a California driver’s license with Dorner’s name, were found with the body in the basement of the cabin.

At a briefing on Wednesday morning, Lt. Andy Neiman said that the LAPD has been back in a normal state of operations since late Wednesday.

He said that the department had not been on tactical alert since early Wednesday.

Neiman also said that “about a dozen or so” protective details of people named in Dorner’s manifesto will remain in place until the department and the families feel safe.

He emphasized that the investigation is not stopping just because the suspect is believed to be dead.

“We don’t just stop a murder case simply because we think the suspect in that case is no longer with us,” he said.

Neiman would not comment on the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of the remains.

He also said that the city attorneys involved will determine who, if anyone, gets the reward money, and that any decision on that matter could take some time.

If the body is identified as Dorner’s, the standoff would end a week-long manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer and Navy reservist suspected in a string of shootings following his firing several years ago.

Four people — an Irvine couple, a Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy — have died allegedly at Dorner’s hands.

Police say Dorner’s first victims were the daughter of the retired LAPD official who represented him at his disciplinary hearing and her fiance.

Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence were found shot to death Feb. 3 in their car in their condo complex’s parking structure.

Days later, officials said, Dorner allegedly attempted to steal a boat in San Diego in a failed bid to escape to Mexico.

By Feb. 7, authorities said, he had fled to the Inland Empire. In Corona, police said, he fired at an LAPD officer searching for him at a gas station.

About half an later, he allegedly opened fire on two Riverside officers, killing Michael Crain, 34, and injuring his partner.

His burning truck was found near Big Bear later Thursday, prompting hundreds of officers to scour the area and conduct cabin-to-cabin checks.

That search was scaled back as authorities found no new signs of the wanted man.

Meantime, authorities scoured more than 1,000 tips that poured in from across Southern California after officials announced a $1 million reward.

Then, on Tuesday morning, a couple entered their cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive and ran into a man they said resembled the fugitive, a law enforcement official said.

The cabin was not far from where Dorner’s singed truck had been found and where police had been holding news conferences about the manhunt.

The man tied up the man and woman and he took off in a purple Nissan parked near the cabin, the official said.

About 12:20 p.m., one of them broke free and called police.

Nearly half an hour later, officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife spotted the stolen vehicle and called for backup, authorities said.

The suspect turned down a side road in an attempt to elude the officers but crashed the vehicle, police said.

A short time later, authorities said, the suspect carjacked a light-colored pickup truck and took off, only to be spotted by another Fish and Wildlife officer.

A gun battle ensued before Dorner crashed the truck and ran to the cabin.

He later shot two San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, killing one and seriously injuring the other, authorities said.

The injured deputy is expected to survive but it is anticipated he will need several surgeries. The names of the two deputies have not been released.

An intense gun battle ensued as authorities swarmed the cabin, people with knowledge of the situation said, adding hundreds of rounds were fired in just more than an hour.

“There were very few lulls in the gunfire,” one person familiar with the investigation said.

Just before 5 p.m., authorities smashed the cabin’s windows, pumped in tear gas and called for the suspect to surrender, officials said.

They got no response. Then, using a demolition vehicle, they tore down the cabin’s walls one by one.

When they reached the last wall, they heard a gunshot. Then the cabin burst into flames, officials said.

“There would have been a lot more casualties” if officers had to “assault the cabin and make entry,” the source said. “There weren’t a lot of options.”

-KTLA/Los Angeles Times

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KTLA) — Thousands of people attended the funeral of a Riverside police officer who was allegedly killed by Christopher Dorner.

crowdOfficer Michael Crain, 34, was killed early last Thursday when he and his partner were ambushed, allegedly by Dorner, while sitting at a red light.

The tributes to Cain, an 11-year veteran of the force, began with a procession from the mortuary to the church at 8 a.m.

The procession started at Acheson & Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary and wound its way to Grove Community Church.

All 400 Riverside police officers participated in the procession in squad cars and on motorcycles.

As the procession arrived at the church, it was met by two Riverside Fire Department ladder trucks draping an American flag over the route.

Law enforcement personnel from all over the state attended the funeral, along with members of the military and the Riverside community.

Governor Jerry Brown and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck were expected to be among the mourners Wednesday morning at Grove Community Church.

The public service began at about 10:30 a.m. and concluded just before 12:30 p.m.

A big screen was set up outside with chairs in an overflow area.

Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz introduced the eulogy for the service.

“I think we hoped that we could clone him several times over,” Diaz said.

There were personal remarks from Crain’s brother Jason, two childhood friends, a former Riverside Police Department co-worker and a Marine Corps friend.

His wife, Regina Crain, fought back tears while saying her marriage to the officer “seemed like a dream.”

“I know there’s a lot of people that have wonderful relationships. I felt mine was perfect.”

The service was followed by a second procession from the church to Riverside National Cemetery, where Crain will be laid to rest.

Crain grew up in the Riverside area and attended Redlands High School.

He then went into the Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Kuwait as a rifleman in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines.

He joined the Riverside Police Department upon returning home from Kuwait.

Crain was a member of the SWAT team, as well as a firearms instructor and a training officer. He was training a new recruit on the night he was gunned down.

He leaves behind a wife, a 10-year-old son, Ian, and a 4-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn.

He “loved attending dance recitals with his daughter and coaching his son’s baseball team,” according to a statement from the Riverside Police Department.

Crain’s “family and friends knew his usually straight face hid a huge personality,” the department said.

He spent his spare time restoring a classic 1970 Chevy Nova, which he loved, the department said.

Crain’s partner, an unidentified 27-year-old rookie, was shot multiple times. He remains hospitalized, but is expected to be okay.

BIG BEAR LAKE (KTLA) — The man whose pickup truck was carjacked by Christopher Dorner gave KTLA an exclusive and chilling account of the ordeal.

Rick Heltebrake came face-to-face with the multiple murder suspect, mere moments before Dorner’s last stand inside a cabin in Seven Oaks.

“I saw the sheriff’s and Fish & Game units coming up the road, and they looked like they were heading out on their way to something,” Heltebrake recalled.

“So I’m basically just driving down the road — it’s about a mile and a quarter to the bottom where my camp ends. Checked everything out.”

“I started driving back up the road. I got to about to within a half-mile of the highway or so and I saw some movement in the trees on the left side in the snow,” he said.

“And here comes this guy with a big gun,” he described. “And it was Christopher Dorner, and I knew who it was right away.”

“I saw a vehicle kind of crashed behind him, like maybe the vehicle he stole from Big Bear, and he lost control, went into the snowbank,” Heltebrake said.

“And he just kind of came out of the snow at me with his gun at my head.”

“I stopped, put my hands up,” he recalled. “He said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you. Just get out and start walking up the road.’”

“He looked at my dog who was in the passenger seat, said take your dog and just start walking.”

Heltebrake complied, and started walking up the road with his hands up.

“I got a little ways up the road, out of his sight, and not more than 10 seconds later, I heard a loud round of gunfire,” he said. “Ten to 20 rounds maybe.”

Read more here.

By Miguel Marquez and Lateef Mungin, NEAR BIG BEAR LAKE, California (CNN) — It may take days before authorities can officially determine whether Christopher Jordan Dorner’s body was found in the ashes of a torched cabin near Big Bear Lake, California.

But several signs early Wednesday seemed to suggest that the ex-Los Angeles police officer’s vendetta against his brothers in blue ended in that wooden cabin with a shootout that left one deputy dead and another wounded.

The frenzied manhunt, road blocks and helicopter flights, which had brought the mountain town to a standstill for six days, died down Tuesday night.

And late in the evening, authorities announced that they found human remains in the cabin and would need forensic experts to identify them.

But even as the question of Dorner’s fate seemed close to being answered, other details eluded explanation.

The carjacking

The deputy’s death in the shootout Tuesday brought to four the number of people Dorner is accused of killing.

Dorner, a man who vowed to kill police officers to avenge what he called an unfair termination, was first named a suspect in two shooting deaths on February 3: that of the daughter of his police union representative and of her fiance.

Police also say he killed one officer in Riverside, California, and wounded two others Thursday.

Authorities offered a $1 million dollar reward in the case after Dorner’s burned truck was found on a forestry road near Big Bear Lake on February 7, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

Officers converged on the remote area but the trail went cold for days. On Sunday, the San Bernadino authorities said they had scaled back the search.

That all changed Tuesday, where arguably the most wanted man in America was finally spotted.

The question of where Dorner was between February 7 and Tuesday was unclear.

Wardens of the California Fish and Wildlife said they spotted Dorner driving a purple Nissan down the icy roads Tuesday. Dorner was driving very close to some school buses as if using them as cover, said Lt. Patrick Foy.

The wardens, driving in two different vehicles, chased Dorner and a gun battle ensued.

A warden’s car was hit.

Dorner crashed his car, ran and then quickly carjacked a pick up truck.

Rick Heltebrake, a camp ranger, said he was driving in the area when he saw the crashed purple car — and then something terrifying.

“Here comes this guy with a big gun and I knew who it was right away,” Heltebrake told CNN affiliate KTLA. “He just came out of the snow at me with his gun at my head. He said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you. Just get out of the car and start walking.’”

Heltebrake said he was allowed to get his dog out of truck before he walked away with his hands up.

“Not more than 10 seconds later, I heard a loud round of gunfire,” Heltebrake said. “Ten to 20 rounds maybe. I found out later what that was all about.”

The fire

Dorner fled to a nearby cabin and got into another shootout with San Bernadino County deputies, killing one and wounding another.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters Tuesday the other deputy was in surgery “but he should be fine,”

The cabin caught fire after police tossed smoke devices inside, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The intense fire burned for hours as authorities waited at a distance.

Despite the enormity of the blaze, authorities were hesitant to officially say they had stopped Dorner.

“No body has been pulled out,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night. “No reports of a body being ID’d are true.”

Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the lead agency in the case — the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department — echoed the words, saying at a separate news conference that authorities believe whoever was in the cabin never left.

“They believe that there is a body in there, but it is not safe to go inside,” she told reporters.

Finally, late Tuesday night, sheriff’s investigators said they found charred human remains within the ashes of the torched cabin.

The department said it will work to identify the remains — but it could take a while.

The security

Clues to the targets of the violence were mentioned in Dorner’s fiery manifesto that was posted online. Authorities say Dorner began making good on his threats on February 3 when he allegedly killed Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence in an Irvine parking lot, south of Los Angeles.

According to the manifesto, Randal Quan, Monica Quan’s father, bungled Dorner’s LAPD termination appeal.

Randal Quan represented Dorner during the disciplinary hearing that resulted in his firing. The officer was among dozens named in the manifesto.

On February 7, Dorner allegedly opened fire on two LAPD police officers, wounding one, in the suburban city of Corona.

Roughly 20 minutes later, Dorner allegedly fired on two officers in the nearby city of Riverside, killing Officer Michael Crain and wounding another.

Since then, the LAPD has provided security and surveillance details for more than 50 police officers and their families — many of whom were named in the manifesto.

Police said Tuesday night they would continue to protect the people Dorner said he would target until it was confirmed that he died in the cabin.

In the manifesto Dorner wrote about death multiple times. Not just the death of his targets but of his own.

“Self Preservation is no longer important to me,” the manifesto said at one point. “I do not fear death as I died long ago.”

 

A burned cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains was the focus of an intense manhunt for fugitive murder suspect Chris Dorner Tuesday night. It was earlier announced that a body had been recovered from the cabin. In an 8 p.m. LAPD news conference, Commander Andy Smith said that the cabin continued to smolder and was too hot to enter. Smith said a body had not been recovered.

“Any reports of a body being found are not true,” Smith said. “Any reports of that body being identified as Christopher Dorner are not true.”

Authorities say the situation began at about 12:20 p.m. when deputies responded to the 1200 block of Club View Drive for a report of a stolen vehicle by a man matching Dorner’s description. Deputies immediately began a search of the area.

The vehicle was located at Highway 38 and Glass Road a short time later. A suspect fled into the forest on foot and barricaded himself inside a cabin. There was an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement and the suspect, leaving two San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies wounded. One deputy died of his injuries at the hospital. The second deputy was in surgery and was expected to survive, an official said.

Dorner was believed to have then holed up in a different cabin, where a fire later erupted, though it was unclear how the blaze began. Once the fire started, a single gunshot was heard from inside the cabin, followed by more sounds of gunfire, which authorities said could have been ammunition exploding.

Courtesy: KTLA-TV

BIG BEAR — An LAPD official has confirmed to KTLA that a body found inside a burned out cabin in Big Bear is believed to be that of accused cop-killer Christopher Dorner.

Authorities are in the process of removing his body from the cabin.

The fugitive former officer had been holed up in the cabin for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.

At one point, police broke windows, pumped in tear gas and blasted a loud speaker urging Dorner to surrender.

When they got no response, police deployed a vehicle to rip down the walls of the cabin “one by one, like peeling an onion,” a law enforcement official said.

By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said.

Then flames began to spread through the structure, and gunshots, probably set off by the fire, were heard.

A tall plume of smoke was rising from the area where the standoff occurred.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel swooped down on the site near Big Bear after the gun battles between Dorner and officers that broke out in the snow-covered mountains where the fugitive had been eluding a massive manhunt since his truck was found burning in the area late last week.

Law enforcement personnel in military-style gear and armed with high-powered weapons were involved in a tense standoff after Dorner took refuge in the cabin Tuesday afternoon.

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