Posted on February 8, 2013

Searches Turn Up No Sign of Ex-Officer as Southern California Waits on Edge

Adam Nagourney and Ian Lovett, New York Times, February 9, 2013

The search for Christopher J. Dorner in the snowy valley around Big Bear Lake, high in the San Bernardino Mountains, continued into Friday morning with absolutely no sign of the fugitive.

The police had tried to bottle up the suspect in the resort area, which has only a handful of access roads, and they were confident that they had him trapped. But as Thursday pushed into Friday, with no sign of Mr. Dorner, the authorities were wondering whether he had somehow managed to slip the dragnet.

Mr. Dorner, 33, a former Navy reservist and Los Angeles police officer, has been the target of a huge manhunt since Thursday morning, sought in connection with the shooting deaths of three people and the attempted shootings of several other police officials. A steady snowfall in the resort region about 100 miles each of Los Angeles, was slowing the search Friday morning, with more in the forecast.

Christopher Dorner

Christopher Dorner

Sheriff John McMahon of San Bernardino County said the police had spent the night scouring the area around Mr. Dorner’s burned-out car, which had been discovered Thursday afternoon, and trying to follow a set of tracks in the snow that the authorities believe were made by the suspect.

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For the second day in a row, local schoolchildren were getting a day off school, keeping them and their yellow buses off the mountain roads in the midst of the search, and the Big Bear ski resort was also closed again.

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The police said that Mr. Dorner was traveling with multiple weapons, including an assault weapon.

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The rampage began with a double homicide in Orange County on Sunday. One of the victims, Monica Quan, 28, was the daughter of a former Los Angeles police captain who had defended Mr. Dorner in his disciplinary proceedings.

On Wednesday, Chief Beck said, Mr. Dorner tried to hijack a boat in San Diego. Early Thursday morning, police officers assigned to protect an officer named by Mr. Dorner were alerted by a civilian who spotted a man resembling the suspect. As they followed him, Mr. Dorner opened fire as they approached him — grazing one in the head — before he fled, Chief Beck said.

Less than an hour later, the suspect approached two Riverside police officers parked at a traffic light in a patrol car and opened fire, killing one and seriously wounding the second.

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Mr. Dorner was dismissed after being charged with making false statements about his training officer, who he alleged had kicked a suspect. A review board ultimately found Mr. Dorner guilty. Mr. Dorner sued the department, but both the trial court and an appellate court upheld his termination.

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