The fired Los Angeles police officer suspected in the murder of an Irvine, Calif., couple and the shooting of two Riverside, Calif., officers — one fatally — reportedly said on his Facebook page that his violent spree is payback against his former supervisors, and that he plans a deadly vendetta against those who he says mistreated him.
Law enforcement officials have launched a massive manhunt for Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, who is a suspect in the shooting deaths of Monica Quan and her fiancée Keith Lawrence on Sunday. Quan’s father Randy represented Dorner in a series of hearings that led to his being fired from the LAPD. It is also Quan that he places at least some of the blame on in an online “manifesto” he wrote, which appears to implicate him in the Irvine shootings.
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On Thursday morning two officers exchanged fire with Dorner while guarding one of the officials mentioned in the manifesto, with one officer sustaining a grazing wound. The gunman fled only to run into two other officers, whom Riverside police say Dorner ambushed — fatally shooting a 34-year-old veteran and wounding the other.
Dorner served as a patrolman with the Los Angeles Police Department from 2005 until his employment was terminated in 2008 for making false statements against a fellow officer. The California Highway Patrol released a “blue alert” on Dorner for nine Southern California counties, describing him as “armed and extremely dangerous.” An Afghanistan veteran and Navy reservist, considered a skilled marksman, authorities believe he could be a threat to police officers and their families.
LAPD chief Charlie Beck explained that Dorner may have multiple weapons at his disposal including an assault rifle. He said that his skill as a policeman makes the situation even more delicate. On Thursday afternoon police in San Bernadino County confirmed that they found his burned out truck in a wooded area in Big Bear, spurring them to launch a door-to-door search in that community. Police did not elaborate on what they found in the truck, but said Dorner was not inside.
“Of course he knows what he’s doing, we trained him,” said Beck at a Thursday press conference. “He was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary, especially to the police officers involved.”
The manifesto, which was reposted by KTLA-TV and is apparently aimed at the media, is a lengthy treatise which purports to be Dorner’s explanation for his actions. “I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts,” it reads. “This is my last resort.”
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In his lengthy Facebook post Dorner claims that he was railroaded by the LAPD for reporting another officer, whom he claimed kicked a suspect who was under arrest. Dorner claimed the department retaliated against him, resulting in the end of his police career and the loss of his position in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He describes white, black, Asian and Hispanic officers who he says either facilitated or ignored racism as “high value targets” and names several ranking officers within the LAPD as possible targets. The department has placed several officers under police protection.
“Citizens/non-combatants, do not render medical aid to downed officers/enemy combatants. They would not do the same for you,” Dorner writes. “Let the balance of loss of life take place. Sometimes a reset needs to occur.” He particularly threatens those involved with his termination: “I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours. Quan, Anderson, Evans, and BOR members Look your wives/husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead.”
But Beck said that Dorner’s case had been adjudicated and was heard by many levels of the department’s internal reviewers. He believes Dorner’s problems with the outcome are of his own making. Court records show that Dorner’s case underwent an extensive review and appeals process in which witnesses, both civilian and within the LAPD, testified that they did not see the officer kick the suspect.
“Dorner’s statements are self-serving and are the statements of someone who is extremely unhappy with his lot in life,” Beck said.
Monica Quan, 28, was the assistant women’s basketball coach at California State University at Fullerton. Her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27, was a University of Southern California public safety officer. The two were found dead in the parking structure of their Irvine condo.
Meanwhile, police protecting one of Dorner’s possible targets appear to have accidentally shot two innocent bystanders on Thursday. The Los Angeles Times says that two women were shot while delivering newspapers in Torrance, Calif. — apparently having been mistaken for the gunman. Both women were being treated at area hospitals.
Police also report that Dorner tried to steal a boat in San Diego in an attempt to flee to Mexico. Police believe Dorner approached an 81-year-old man at the Point Loma Yacht Club on Harbor Island with a firearm and demanded his boat on Wednesday. But the boat’s motor malfunctioned, forcing him to scrap his plans. He took the boat owner’s cellphone and left him unharmed. Police say a briefcase belonging to Dorner and his badge were found not far from the scene of the attempted theft.