A massive manhunt was under way Thursday for an ex-LAPD cop suspected of murdering at least two people and seeking to kill many others including police officers and their families on a vengeful rampage.Christopher Dorner — who posted what appeared to be his plan in a chilling online manifesto — was playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that had California cities from Los Angeles to San Diego on high alert, while officers guarded the homes of at least 40 people who could be on his hit list.
At an emotional press conference, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck cataloged the bloody trail that began Sunday with a double murder and continued Thursday — leaving one cop dead, two more wounded and two civilians shot by officers in a case of mistaken identity.
Dorner — a 270-pound former Navy reservist who was tossed off the police force in 2008 — has an arsenal of weapons, including assault rifles, police said. Citizens were told to call 911 if they see his dark gray 2005 Nissan Titan truck, but warned not to approach him.
Dorner, 33, graduated from Southern Utah University in 2001 with a major in political and a minor in psychology. He also played football for at least two of those years, the university confirmed.
He was a lieutenant in the Navy Reserves from 2002 until this week, and earned a ribbon for rifle marksmanship and a medal for pistol expertise. He was honorably discharged.
He joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 2005 and was fired for making false statements in 2008.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck provides a briefing on the case of Christopher Dorner, the fired LAPD officer wanted in revenge slayings in Irvine, California.
In his 11,300-word blueprint for vengeance — a cached version of which was obtained by NBCLosAngeles.com — Dorner made it clear he is out for the blood of his perceived enemies and their loved ones.
“I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours,” Dorner wrote in his rambling manifesto, addressing LAPD officials he blamed for ruining his career.
“Look your wives/husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead.”
Police say Dorner began killing on Sunday.
Monica Quan, 28, and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence, 27, were fatally shot while parking their car at their apartment complex after a Super Bowl party. Quan is the daughter of retired LAPD Capt. Randy Quan, who represented Dorner at the internal review that led to his ouster.
On Wednesday, they say Dorner tried and failed to steal a boat in San Diego, Beck said. No one was hurt in that incident.
Hours later, he began targeting cops, they said.
At 1:25 a.m., in Chino, LAPD cops assigned to protect someone named in the manifesto came under fire. One cop suffered a graze wound to his head, “literally inches from killing him,” Beck said.
Twenty minutes later, in Riverside, he ambushed two cops stopped at a red light. One officer was killed and the other is in stable condition.
The attacks left cops on protection and search details across the region on edge — with tragic results.
At 5:15 a.m. in Torrance, police assigned to watch the home of a potential target got a report of a vehicle like Dorner’s in the area, and then spotted it driving with the lights off. Shots were fired and the two people in the vehicle were struck; both are expected to survive.
“Tragically we believe this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers,” Beck said.
Later in the day, dozens of cops surrounded a motel in San Diego where a man matching Dorner’s description was reported to be holed up. KNSD said police eventually confirmed the man inside was not the suspect.
“It’s extremely intense,” Sgt. Rudy Lopez said of the dragnet to capture the suspect before anyone else is killed.
“We’re trying to identify where he’s been, where he’s going. In this case, we are the targets. He’s brazen. He’s on a hunt to do whatever havoc he can.”
Dorner’s manifesto, titled “Last Resort,” is a road map of his rage over being tossed off the force. He claims that he was punished for accusing his field training officer of brutalizing a mentally disabled man.
“The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence, PUBLICLY!!!” he wrote.
Half of it chronicles the wrongs Dorner says he suffered, stretching all the way back to a racial slur used against him in the first grade. He portrays the LAPD as rife with racism, corruption and abuse.
There is a long passage in which he expresses support for an assault-weapons ban, and a plea that his brain be preserved for scientific research on the effects of depression.
The document also contains page after page of praise for friends, political figures, journalists and celebrities and opinions on issues of the day — from women in combat to the boycott of Chick-fil-A.
Mostly, though, he talks about his bloodthirsty plans. He claims his arsenal includes “Bushmaster firearms, Remington precision rifles” and silencers and boasts that his knowledge of police tactics will allow him to elude capture.
Police chiefs giving press conferences in Riverside and in Los Angeles, when asked what message they have for the suspect, said they would urge him to stand down.
“I would tell him to turn himself in, said Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck. “This has gone far enough. No one else needs to die.”
Offering a similar message Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz said of the fugitive: “His grievances will not be further aired by further violence.”
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