Photo courtesy CBS Los Angeles/Facebook
(USA Today) IRVINE, Calif. - Police across Southern California waged a massive manhunt for a former cop accused of going on a revenge killing spree targeting other officers and their families and posting an online message saying "I do not fear death.''
Overnight shootings in Riverside County that left one officer dead and two wounded have been linked to the former Los Angeles officer, Christopher Dorner, who police named as a suspect in the slaying of a young couple here Sunday.
His pickup truck, the object of a regionwide search, was found burned off a forestry road in a remote area of the San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. Dorner was not found, he said, and local law enforcement officers were searching the Big Bear mountain ski area, including homes in the resort area.
Schools in the area were closed earlier in the day, and the Bear Mountain ski resort halted afternoon skiing.
"We're doing everything we can to search the area and try to find him,'' McMahon said.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck called on Dorner to turn himself in: "This has gone far enough. Nobody else needs to die."
He said Dorner "has multiple weapons at his disposal, including assault rifles,'' and has police and military training.
A profanity-laced 11-page note addressed to "America" was written and posted online by Dorner, police chiefs in Irvine and Los Angeles said. In them, he laid out his grievances against the Los Angeles Police Department and various officers he claims wronged him, ruined his law enforcement career and ultimately destroyed his reputation. He says he'll stop the killing when the LAPD publicly proclaims his innocence and restores his reputation.
"I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back," the manifesto says. "This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences.''
"Self-preservation is no longer important to me. I do not fear death as I died long ago on 1/2/09," he wrote, referring to the date he was fired.
Beck said Los Angeles police have launched more than 40 security details to protect law enforcement personnel and others they believe are Dorner's targets, based on the Internet posting.
Across Southern California, digital traffic signs had carried alerts urging motorists to report any sighting of Dorner or his Nissan Titan pickup.
"I don't think there's anybody in law enforcement who isn't looking for him, along with about half the commuters in Southern California,'' said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen.
Beck said Dorner was threatening law enforcement officers specifically and in general.
READ: Suspect's 20-page manifest
"LAPD is a specific target, but all law enforcement is targeted,'' Beck said, because Dorner had "a vendetta against all Southern California law enforcement.''
Police in San Diego early Thursday recovered a badge and ID bearing Dorner's photograph, Hassen said. The items were found by someone near the San Diego airport, he said.
Hassen said a man matching Dorner's description tried to steal a boat from a San Diego marina Wednesday night but gave up after he was unable to get the engine started and the boat unmoored. "We're waiting for forensic evidence to see if it was Dorner,'' Hassen said.
Police across the region were responding to reported sightings, and some proved to be mistaken. Beck attributed a pair of shootings by police officers in Torrance, south of Los Angeles, to mistaken identity. In one of the instances, officers fired on two women who were in a blue pickup delivering newspapers. One was hospitalized, the other treated for minor injuries.
Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz said his two officers were stopped at a traffic light when they were hit with several gunshots fired from a rifle by someone in a truck that pulled up next to them. A 34-year-old officer with 11 years on the force was killed. Another officer, 27, is expected to recover from his injuries, Diaz said.
Irvine Police Chief David Maggard named Dorner Wednesday night as the suspect in the slayings of Monica Quan, 28, an assistant basketball coach at California State University-Fullerton, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a University of Southern California campus security officer.
Quan is the daughter of Randy Quan, a retired LAPD captain who was involved in the review process that ultimately led to Dorner's dismissal from the force.
The couple were found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in their car outside their Irvine condominium Sunday night.
Maggard said Dorner implicated himself in the killings in the "manifesto" that included threats against several people, including members of the LAPD.
Beck, at a news conference, said he would not respond to the contents of the manifesto and dismissed it as self-serving "ramblings on the Internet.''
"When the truth comes out, the killing stops," the letter reads. "The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence. PUBLICLY!!! I will not accept any type of currency/goods in exchange for the attacks to stop, no do I want it. I want my name back, period. There is no negotiation."
The letter accuses the LAPD of corruption, racism and covering up for and promoting officers who steal and use excessive force. He identifies groups, including white, Asian, lesbian, black and Hispanic officers, who have acted in what he calls immoral ways as "high-value targets." The letter cites as one example of "high-value targets" black officers who belittle white officers under their command, perpetuating the cycle of racism" in the LAPD.
"I am here to change and make policy," the letter reads. "The culture of LAPD versus the community and honest/good officers needs to and will change. I am here to correct and calibrate your morale compasses to true north."
MORE: Cal State Fullerton hoops coach, fiance shot to death
"Dorner is to be considered armed and extremely dangerous, and we ask that anyone who sees Dorner, to not approach or attempt contacting him, but to immediately call 911 and notify law enforcement authorities,'' the LAPD statement said.
The slayings of Monica Quan and Lawrence shocked this suburban city, which prides itself on having one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.
Randy Quan was the first Chinese-American to attain the rank of captain on the LAPD force, the department has said. He later served as chief of police at Cal Poly-Pomona, part of the California State University system.
Contributing: Donna Leinwand Leger in Washington