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Sweeping manhunt for ex-LA cop

LOS ANGELES — A massive manhunt is underway for a former LAPD officer and double murder suspect believed to have shot three officers on Thursday, killing one of them.

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LOS ANGELES — The women injured when Los Angeles police opened fire on them during the manhunt for ex-cop Christopher Dorner have reached a $4.2-million settlement with the city, sources told The Times.

Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich announced a settlement had been reached Tuesday afternoon. More details were expected at a 2 p.m. news conference.

Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were delivering newspapers in Torrance on Feb. 7 when LAPD officers shot  repeatedly at their blue Toyota Tacoma. Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza was injured by broken glass, an attorney for the women said.

The officers were protecting the home of a high-ranking LAPD official named in a threatening manifesto authorities said was written by Dorner, and they believed that the official could have been a potential target. Dorner at the time had already killed the daughter of an LAPD captain, her fiance — a USC police officer — and a Riverside police officer, officials said.

Dorner was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan, and there was an alert preceding the shooting that said a truck matching Dorner’s was in the area.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called the shooting “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension” hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers. Beck promised to provide a truck from a donor regardless of potential litigation by the women.

Last month, the women received a $40,000 check from the city to cover the loss of the truck.

When announcing the check had been delivered, Trutanich said the settlement was “the legal and morally right thing to do both for the individuals involved and the taxpayers of this city.”

From the LA Times

dornerLOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that Christopher Dorner stalked his potential targets connected to the department in the time before he allegedly began a series of deadly shootings.

“We believe based on our investigation, Dorner did his homework,” Beck said.

Beck did not provide details but said “indications he was at some of the homes.”

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Dorner, who allegedly blamed several LAPD officials for his firing, visited the home of a police captain in early January, according to several law enforcement sources.

The fired LAPD officer went to the door of the captain’s South Bay home but because the official’s wife did not recognize him she did not open the door, according to two sources.

It was one of several visits he made to LAPD homes in the time  before he was named a suspect in a double slaying, according to law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Dorner is accused of killing the daughter of an retired LAPD captain and her fiance as well as two law enforcement officers. Irvine police said they believe Dorner may have stalked the woman as well.

Dorner spent his final hours barricaded inside a mountain cabin armed with a high-powered rifle, smoke bombs and a cache of ammunition, ignoring commands to surrender until a single gunshot ended his life, authorities said Friday.

The evidence indicates that Dorner, who also allegedly wounded three others, held a gun to his head and fired while the Big Bear area cabin caught fire, ignited by police tear gas.

For the complete Los Angeles Times story, go here.

LAPD

Courtesy LA Times

LOS ANGELES — Several days after Christopher Dorner’s death ended his standoff with authorities, some sympathizers have been expressing support for him online and on the street.

Dorner — accused of the slayings of four people — has gained some supporters on the Web who have read his alleged manifesto and believe its claims that he was unfairly fired by the Los Angeles Police Department and was a victim of racism.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside LAPD headquarters in downtown L.A. on Saturday afternoon in an event they said was organized through a Facebook page called “I support Christopher Jordan Dorner.” The post announcing the protest advised attendees to “keep it PEACEFUL” and to bring recording equipment.

The Facebook page states: “This is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

dornerrifle

(Photo: Los Angeles Times)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Fugitive ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner died of a single  gunshot to the head, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said Friday.

Officials said it appears the wound was self-inflicted but said a final determination has not been made.

At a news conference Friday, officials announced that they had found a cache of weapons as well as a powerful tear gas and high-capacity magazines in the possession of  Dorner or at sites connected with him.

Officials said they recovered 10 silencers, assault weapons, a sniper rifle, a “tactical style” vest and military helmet.

Dorner was killed at the end of a long standoff Tuesday with SWAT deputies in a cabin near Big Bear.

Several experts said they believe that deputies’ actions that set off the fire that ended the standoff appear to be justified.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon at a Wednesday news conference adamantly denied that deputies intended to burn the cabin down . But the department on Thursday declined to answer further questions about the standoff.

Sources, however, have provided details of what happened.

The day’s light was fading when the SWAT officers decided they could wait no longer for Dorner to surrender.

Dorner, the fired Los Angeles cop suspected of killing four people in a campaign of revenge, had been holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake for hours, trading gunfire with sheriff’s deputies. He ignored repeated calls over a loudspeaker to surrender. Attempts to flush him out with tear gas led nowhere.

Wanting to end the standoff before nightfall, members of the sheriff’s SWAT unit carried out a plan they had devised for a final assault on the cabin, according to law enforcement sources. An officer drove a demolition vehicle up to the building and methodically tore down most of its walls, the sources said.

With the cabin’s interior exposed, the officer got on the radio to others awaiting his order. “We’re going to go forward with the plan, with the burner,” the unidentified officer said, according to a recording of police radio transmissions reviewed by The Times.

“The burner” was shorthand for a grenade-like canister containing a more powerful type of tear gas than had been used earlier. Police use the nickname because of the intense heat the device gives off, often starting a fire.

“Seven burners deployed,” another officer responded several seconds later, according to the transmission which has circulated widely among law enforcement officials. “And we have a fire.”

Within minutes the cabin was fully engulfed in flames, ending a dramatic manhunt that captivated the nation.

The SWAT radio transmission, in addition to the comments of at least one officer who earlier in the gun battle could be heard by a TV reporter calling for the cabin to be burned down, have raised questions as to whether authorities intentionally set the structure on fire to end the standoff.

Multiple sources, who were at the scene and asked that their names not be used because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said the decision to use the incendiary gas canisters came amid mounting concern that time and options were running out.

– Los Angeles Times

To read the entire L.A. Times article, click here.

dornerLOS ANGELES – San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials have positively identified the charred remains found in a mountain cabin Tuesday as being the body of Christopher Dorner.

Officials said they made the identification using dental records during the autopsy.

The announcement brings a formal end to the epic manhunt for Dorner, who was accused of killing four people, including two law enforcement officers. He was killed at the end of a hours-long standoff in a cabin near Big Bear on Tuesday afternoon.

SWAT officers in the cabin standoff decided to use highly flammable “hot gas” canisters as a last resort after other efforts to persuade Dorner to surrender failed, according to law enforcement sources.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

LAPD dornerFaced with regular barrages of gunfire, officers confronting suspected killer Christopher Dorner lobbed incendiary tear gas into the cabin where Dorner allegedly was holed up, said law enforcement officials with knowledge of the situation.

The cabin caught on fire and authorities believe Dorner was burned inside. A body was discovered but authorities have not confirmed it was Dorner.

Law enforcement sources said the officers got into several gun battles with Dorner during a nearly four-hour siege at the cabin in the Big Bear area. The standoff began with Dorner allegedly fatally shot a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy and seriously injured another.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

SWAT officers surrounding the cabin were under a “constant barrage of gunfire,” one source said. “He put himself in that position. There weren’t a lot of options.”

Hoping to end the standoff, law enforcement authorities first lobbed “traditional” tear gas into the cabin. When that did not work, they opted to use CS gas canisters, which are known in law enforcement parlance as incendiary tear gas. These canisters have significantly more chance of starting a fire. This gas can cause humans to have burning eyes and start to feel as if they are being starved for oxygen. It is often used to drive barricaded individuals out.

If the body is identified as Dorner’s, the standoff would end a weeklong manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant suspected in a string of shootings following his firing by the Los Angeles Police Department several years ago. Four people have died in the case, allegedly at Dorner’s hands.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

For complete Los Angeles Times coverage, go here.

dorner sceneThough he lived only half a mile from the command center, deputies never knocked on the door of Jim Rose’s house looking for Christopher Dorner, Rose told The Times on Wednesday.

“One friend said, ‘OK, so much for the inspection,’ ” Rose, 78, said.

As it turned out, wanted murder suspect Christopher Dorner appears to have been hiding in plain sight, just a five-minute walk from where law enforcement officials from multiple agencies had centered their search operation for the ex-LAPD officer.

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More than 200 officers were involved the first night. Sheriff’s department officials said the search included more than 600 cabins over eight square miles.

It apparently did not include Rose’s neighborhood, which it turns out, may have been where Dorner was hiding all along. The circumstance is reminiscent of the government’s search for Whitey Bulger, who was hiding under federal agents’ noses when he was captured.

“As far as I could tell, they did about as good as they could do,” said Otis Farry, whose home is on Club View Drive. “Who would’ve known?”

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

dorner sceneLike many Southern Californians, Los Angeles police officials nervously listened to radio traffic as a shootout unfolded at a Big Bear-area cabin, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Officers swarmed the wood-paneled structure Tuesday after a man thought to be fugitive former cop Christopher Dorner was holed up inside. Sources described an intense firefight, with hundreds of rounds fired in a “constant barrage of gunfire.”

“It was horrifying to listen to that firefight and hear those words ‘Officer down,’ ” LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman told reporters Wednesday. “It’s the most gut-wrenching experience that you can have as a police officer.”

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Neiman provided a brief update on the ongoing investigation into Dorner as officials worked to identify a body found in the cabin, which burned to its foundation Tuesday.

Neiman declined to comment on the San Bernardino County part of the investigation, but said Los Angeles police returned to normal operations late Tuesday. Of the 50 or so families assigned protective details because of Dorner’s alleged manifesto, only about a dozen were still under watch Wednesday.

“We have some individuals who are still in great fear,” he said.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Searching for suspected shooter

For complete coverage, visit the Los Angeles Times here.

ktlaBIG BEAR, Calif. — There were conflicting reports about whether a body was located inside the burned-out cabin Tuesday night where Christopher Dorner was believed to have kept law enforcement authorities at bay.

Several sources told The Los Angeles Times and many other news organizations that a body was located in the rubble. But LAPD officials said that the cabin was still too hot to search.

“No body has yet been found,” LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night, saying that media reports of a body being found and recovered were wrong.

At 8:30 p.m., San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said officials have not confirmed what is inside the cabin. She said police believed a suspect was inside the cabin at the time of the fire but that officials have not gone in yet to look for the body.

KTLA, the Los Angeles Times and nearly all media organizations  reported unidentified police sources as saying that a body was found inside the burned cabin in Big Bear, Calif., and was believed to be that of Dorner.

Dorner, 33, is accused of killing at least three people as part of a long-standing grudge against the LAPD prompted by his firing in 2009. He is believed to have penned a long, angry manifesto on Facebook saying that he was unfairly fired and was now seeking vengeance.

The fugitive former officer had been holed up in the cabin in Big Bear and surrounded by SWAT teams for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.

At one point, police broke windows, pumped in tear gas and blasted a loud speaker urging Dorner to surrender.

When they got no response, police deployed a vehicle to rip down the walls of the cabin “one by one, like peeling an onion,” a law enforcement official said.

By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said.

Then flames began to spread through the structure, and gunshots, probably set off by the fire, were heard.

A tall plume of smoke was rising from the area where the standoff occurred.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel swooped down on the site near Big Bear after the gun battles between Dorner and officers that broke out in the snow-covered mountains where the fugitive had been eluding a massive manhunt since his truck was found burning in the area late last week.

Law enforcement personnel in military-style gear and armed with high-powered weapons were involved in a tense standoff after Dorner took refuge in the cabin.

Dorner suddenly resurfaced Tuesday afternoon, engaging in a vehicle-to-vehicle gun battle with a California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer before holing up in a Big Bear-area cabin as dozens of officers homed in.

Two San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies were shot in a confrontation, sources said. One San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy died of wounds suffered during the shootout.

The incidents quickly unfolded Tuesday morning after Dorner left a nearby home he had broken into days ago, a source said. He allegedly had tied up a couple inside and held them hostage.

Then Dorner was allegedly spotted by state Fish and Wildlife officer in a white pickup truck.  Dorner fired, and the officer returned fire. Officer was unharmed but his truck was riddled with bullet.

For the latest on this evolving story, click here.

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