LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police launched a massive manhunt for a former Los Angeles officer suspected of going on a killing spree, slaying a couple over the weekend, opening fire on two Los Angeles officers early Thursday and then ambushing two other police officers, killing one.
Authorities began seeking Christopher Dorner, who was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2008 for making false statements, after he was linked to the weekend killing in which one of the victims was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during those disciplinary proceedings.
Early Thursday, police came under fire in two separate shootings in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles.
The first occurred in the city of Corona and involved two LAPD officers working a security detail, said Sgt. Alex Baez of the LAPD’s Newton division. One officer was grazed.
Later, two officers on routine patrol in the neighboring city of Riverside were ambushed in their patrol car at a stop light, said Riverside Lt. Guy Toussaint. One died and the other was in surgery.
The Riverside officers shot overnight were not actively looking for Dorner, Toussaint said.
Dorner’s LAPD badge and an ID were found by citizen near San Diego’s airport and were turned in to police at 2:27 a.m. Thursday, said San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick.
“We’re asking our officers to be extraordinarily cautious just as we’re asking the public to be extraordinarily cautious with this guy. He’s already demonstrated he has a propensity for shooting innocent people. We can’t provide a lot of information now because we’re trying to capture him,” said Cmdr. Andrew Smith. “We don’t know where he is. We’re looking for the public’s help to locate this guy. Anybody who sees him or believes they see him or his vehicle should call 911.”
Dorner is wanted in the killings of Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, who were found shot to death in their car at a parking structure Sunday night, Irvine police Chief David L. Maggard said at a news conference Wednesday night.
Dorner, 33, implicated himself in the killings with a multi-page “manifesto” that he wrote that included threats against several people, including members of the LAPD, police said. They gave no further details on the document or its contents.
Autopsies showed that Quan and Lawrence were killed by multiple gunshot wounds in the parking structure at their condominium in Irvine, Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said earlier Wednesday.
Quan, 28, was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton. Lawrence, 27, was a public safety officer at the University of Southern California.
The killings brought mourning and disbelief at three college campuses, Fullerton, USC, and Concordia University, where the two met when they were both students and basketball players.
Police said the U.S. Navy reservist may be driving a blue 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck. His last known address was in La Palma in northern Orange County near Fullerton.
Dorner was with the department from 2005 until 2008, when he was fired for making false statements.
Quan’s father, a former LAPD captain who became a lawyer in retirement, represented Dorner in front of the Board of Rights, a tribunal that ruled against Dorner at the time of his dismissal, LAPD Capt. William Hayes told The Associated Press Wednesday night.
Randal Quan retired in 2002. He later served as chief of police at Cal Poly Pomona before he started practicing law.
According to documents from a court of appeals hearing in October 2011, Dorner was fired from the LAPD after he made a complaint against his field training officer, Sgt. Teresa Evans. Dorner said that in the course of an arrest, Evans kicked suspect Christopher Gettler, a schizophrenic with severe dementia.
Following an investigation, Dorner was fired for making false statements.
Richard Gettler, the schizophrenic man’s father, gave testimony that supported Dorner’s claim. After his son was returned on July 28, 2007, Richard Gettler asked “if he had been in a fight because his face was puffy” and his son responded that he was kicked twice in the chest by a police officer.
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