Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD officer suspected of killing three people and the subject of a week-long manhunt involving federal agents and local law enforcement. Meanwhile, authorities are worried the well-trained former Navy Reserves lieutenant and beat cop might launch an attack on the Grammy’s.
“Our dedication to catching this killer remains steadfast,” Villaraigosa said at a press conference on Sunday.
Dorner, a Los Angeles police officer from 2005 to 2008, was fired after accusing a supervising officer of brutality on the job. Police officials dismissed his claims and terminated his employment on the grounds that Dorner had lied about the incident.
Then, on February 3, the bodies of Monica Quan and her fiancée, Keith Lawrence, were found shot to death in a car near their parking lot in Irvine. Quan was the daughter of the former LAPD captain who represented Dorner during his trial. A rambling anti-LAPD manifesto posted to Dorner’s Facebook page implicated him in the killings soon thereafter.
On February 6, Dorner attempted to hijack a boat in a San Diego marine, tying up an 81-year-old man but releasing him unhurt. A massive manhunt ensued, and early the next morning, Dorner killed one and wounded two cops after being sighted in Corona and launching an ambush on a police vehicle in Riverside. Later that day, LAPD officers shot up a car they mistook for the killer’s and severely injured two innocent bystanders.
Now, Dorner is missing after his burning vehicle was discovered at the Big Bear ski resort in Southern California. Authorities recovered two AR-15 rifles, but believe Dorner has access to additional weaponry. A multi-day manhunt near the city of Big Bear Lake failed to turn up even a slight amount of evidence as to his location.
Some cops are even worried that he’ll strike the Incident Command Post set up for LAPD brass at the Grammy’s tonight, where top law enforcement officials will be coordinating security for the massive awards ceremony while simultaneously balancing the manhunt.
Authorities have good reason to be nervous. Dorner’s terrifying manifesto included the following threat:
Whatever pre-planned responses you have established for a scenario like me, shelve it. Whatever contingency plan you have, shelve it. Whatever tertiary plan you’ve created, shelve it. I am a walking exigent circumstance with no OFF or reset button. JRIC, DOJ, LASD, FBI and other local LE can’t assist and should not involve themselves in a matter that does not concern them. For all other agencies, do not involve yourself in this capture or recovery of me.
While the Grammys are undoubtedly secure against even the most hardened attacked, it’s hard not to feel a chill. Dorner obviously knows what he’s doing – and his words have been backed up by two slain innocent bystanders, a dead LAPD officer, and two more wounded cops, not to mention a week of utter embarrassment for California authorities. If you count the discovery of his burnt-out vehicle, Dorner has directly eluded law enforcement three times and continues to evade capture while he’s on the run.
But is the media frenzy aiding Dorner? While the slew of news stories about the rogue ex-cop have given him immense visibility and detracted from his ability to hide from the authorities, panic and confusion might give him an edge over his pursuers.
And if we’re worried about panic and disorder, thousands of armed Los Angeles citizens scrambling to claim a $1 million dollar reward might just get in the way – or end up with another recurrence of the LAPD’s jump to fire upon the innocent occupants of the misidentified vehicle.
As long as Dorner remains on the loose, the police can’t win. While working for the LAPD has never been a dream job, safe to say this latest turn of events has knocked law enforcement in Los Angeles down another notch on the ladder to worst job in America.