A SWAT team returns to the command post at Bear Mountain near Big Bear Lake, California, after searching for Christopher Jordan Dorner on Friday. Search conditions have been hampered by a heavy winter storm in the area. Photo: The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Will Lester/AP
LOS ANGELES: A renegade ex-cop wanted in three killings has eluded capture for a third day as Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced he will review the case that led to the fugitive's firing.
Once someone targets a police officer and takes the life of a police officer, they are considered the most dangerous of all dangers.
Beck said officials will re-examine allegations made by by Christopher Jordan Dorner in 2007 when he was with the department's Harbor Division that his law enforcement career was sabotaged by racist colleagues.
Suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner in his Navy reservist uniform, left, and before losing his job as an LA police officer. Photo: Getty/AFP
"I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do," Beck said in a statement.
The chief also said officials will review all the claims Dorner made in an 11,000-word online "manifesto," in which he lashes out at the department and vows revenge against Beck and other officers he holds responsible for his firing.
"Any threat assessments you generate will be useless," the posting read. "I have the strength and benefits of being unpredictable, unconventional, and unforgiving."
During a televised news conference Saturday night at LAPD headquarters, Cmdr. Andrew Smith announced the creation of a task force dedicated to capturing Dorner. It will include representatives from the Los Angeles, Irvine and Riverside police departments, the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service.
Smith also said authorities are protecting "more than 50 officers and families" out of concern they could be targeted by Dorner, whom he hopes will surrender peacefully.
"No one else has to die," Smith said during a televised news conference. "He can turn himself in anywhere."
Dorner is believed to be armed with several weapons, including an assault rifle, and is considered extremely dangerous.
He is suspected of conducting a vendetta that began a week ago, when Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, were fatally shot in Irvine.
Quan's father is a former LAPD captain who had represented Dorner during the proceedings that led to his firing. Department officials determined Dorner had lied when he accused his training officer of kicking a suspect during an arrest.
On Wednesday night, just hours after he was identified as a suspect in the double homicide, police believe Dorner shot and grazed an LAPD officer in Corona. He then allegedly used a rifle to ambush two Riverside police officers, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
A funeral for the slain officer, whose name has not been released because of concern for his family's safety, has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Authorities were drawn to the Big Bear area on Thursday, when Dorner's Nissan pickup truck was found burning on a rugged fire access road. Officials said Saturday they'd determined that the axle had snapped, and that he's set the vehicle ablaze.
Inside the burned-out truck, authorities said, they found an arsenal of weapons.
Tracks believed to be Dorner's were found in the area. One San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy said it appeared that Dorner had doubled-back in his own footprints and set off in another direction in order to confuse authorities.
The deputy, who demanded anonymity, also said that authorities discovered a makeshift shelter nearby — a cubby he likened to a duck blind — they believe may have been built by Dorner.
Over the next two days, SWAT teams and officers in cold-weather gear conducted door-to-door searches for Dorner, even breaking into locked vacation homes in the picturesque ski resort.
The operation was interrupted Friday when a blizzard moved in, but a break in the weather Saturday allowed two heat-sensing helicopters to resume their search for any new clues.
Officials said they plan to continue combing the Big Bear area today with about 50 officers, down from 125 at the height of the search.
The command post is also expected to be relocated from a parking lot opposite the slopes of the Big Bear Ski Area to a nearby sheriff's substation.
"We are prepared to continue the search until he's either found or they have evidence that he is no longer on the mountain," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
While the hunt for Dorner has centered near Big Bear, other agencies have been looking for clues into his life and how long he may have been planning his rampage.
On Friday, officers served a warrant at a house in La Palma that is owned by Dorner's mother and collected 10 bags of evidence. Police also collected evidence from a Buena Park storage unit but refused to say what they'd found.
Down near San Diego, a massive traffic jam developed Saturday at the Mexican border, where officers wearing body armor and cradling rifles were photographed watching southbound motorists. Officials would not say whether the surveillance was part of the manhunt for Dorner.
In addition to his training with the LAPD, Dorner also received specialized training as a Navy reservist, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records.
He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007. An LAPD newsletter has carried a photo of Dorner with then-Chief Bill Bratton, who gave him a gold coin as a souvenir.
Feb. 1 was Dorner's last day with the Navy and also the day CNN's Anderson Cooper received a package that contained a note on it that read, in part, "I never lied." The coin that Bratton gave him, now riddled with bullet holes, was also in the package.
Despite Dorner's law-enforcement and military background, deputies searching for him Saturday in below-freezing temperatures said they now viewed him as just another slaying suspect.
"He's no longer one of us," one deputy said. "Once someone targets a police officer and takes the life of a police officer, they are considered the most dangerous of all dangers.
"Because he has no regard for the life of a police officer means he has no regard for anyone else's life."
Los Angeles Daily News