California police have launched a manhunt for a former LAPD officer who is suspected of having gunned down five people, three of which were killed. Los Angeles Police already shot two innocent people while trying to detain the suspect.
Fear has struck the Los Angeles Police Department as authorities frantically search for the man who murdered their colleagues and promises to target anyone in uniform.
Former LAPD officer and US Navy reservist Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, began his shooting spree with the killing of a young couple. Monica Quan, 28, and her 27-year-old fiancé, Keith Lawrence, were found dead in their car on Sunday night – an act of violence that Dorner called “a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD.”
The young woman was the daughter of Randal Quan, a former LAPD captain and current lawyer who represented Dorner in front of the Board of Rights, which ruled against him when he was fired from his job in early 2009. Even though Quan represented Dorner before the board, he was unsuccessful in securing his client’s employment.
The other three shooting victims were all LAPD police officers, one of which suffered fatal gunshot wounds Wednesday evening. In a 20-page manifesto published online, Dorner promised to continue killing, and specifically targeted police officers he believes were involved in his dismissal from the LAPD, where he worked from 2005 to 2008.
In response, the LAPD has launched a statewide manhunt and is standing armed and ready to use lethal force, should they encounter the suspect. Police who were guarding one of Dorner’s targeted officers opened fire and wounded two innocent people in a pickup truck in Torrance that closely resembled the one that the suspect was thought to be driving – a blue or grey Nissan Titan. The pickup had been driving without its lights on at 5:15 a.m. Thursday, prompting the officers to blindly shoot at it.
“Tragically we believe this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers,” said LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck.
Authorities have not discussed the extent of the gunshot injuries afflicted upon the bystanders, but the two victims were hospitalized.
Nearby, there was another police shooting when LAPD officers saw a separate pickup truck that also resembled the suspect’s. The bullets failed to hit the innocent driver of the truck, but points towards the fear instilled among the LAPD as they desperately search for Dorner, prepared to use any means to stop him.
Dorner's truck was recovered, ablaze and without him in it, later Thursday night in the San Bernardino mountains a few hours' drive from Los Angeles.
The San Bernadino Sherriff’s Department confirmed that the truck was Dorner’s. Personnel from several departments aided by teams of dogs continued to search the mountainous area, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, including door-to-door searches of cabins.
Meanwhile, the killer is still on the loose, determined to make himself known after losing his job four years ago.
“I lost everything,” Dorner wrote, “because the LAPD took my name and knew I was innocent.”
In a bloodthirsty act of vengeance, the former cop vowed also to murder some of the family members of the officers he listed.
“I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours,” Dorner wrote, while explaining that the shooting spree is an act to “reclaim my name”, which be believes he lost when he was fired. Dorner cited severe depression as a consequence of his termination, since his life’s ambition was to be a police officer.
Dorner was fired from the LAPD four years ago for making a false statement about his training officer, Sgt. Teresa Evans. The former cop alleged to the news media that she kicked a schizophrenic with severe dementia. But after an internal investigation Sgt. Evans was cleared and Dorner terminated from the police force.
“Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over,” he wrote in his manifesto. “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.”
Odd information about Dorner is making its way through the media as the search continues.
"Learned today suspect Christopher Dorner sent me a parcel at CNN. Inside was a note, DVD, and a coin shot thru with bullet holes," CNN host Anderson Cooper tweeted Thursday evening. The coin is reportedly an LAPD souvenir medal.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are now involved in the manhunt. Targets named in Dorner’s manifesto will receive protection until authorities apprehend the man on the run.
The California Highway Patrol issued a blue alert for nine counties in Southern California, which requires information about the suspect to be broadcast to the public to receive help in the suspect’s apprehension.
“The violence of action will be high,” Dorner promised. “I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty.”
Police continue to search for Dorner are standing ready to use their weapons, since authorities say Thorner is“armed and extremely dangerous.”