Christopher Dorner Nightmare Relived by LAPD Couple of Irvine Phil and Emada Tingirides

Categories: 2013 Homicides
Capt. Phil Tingirides
An Irvine couple who, along with their family, may have been the No. 1 target of the late Christopher Jordan Dorner talked with the media in Los Angeles today about the six-day nightmare.

Phil Tingirides, the LAPD captain who chaired the panel that recommended Dorner's termination from the force, and his wife, LAPD Sergeant Emada Tingirides have only been married a couple of years, but they have a blended family of six children ages 10 to 24.

All of them huddled together in their Irvine home while Dorner was on the loose.

Emada and Phil Tingirides face the media.
"There were many times we would break down," confided Emada Tingirides of her husband and herself. "We'd go in the garage and cry because we didn't want our kids to see the anguish and hurt we were feeling. . . . We had decided we were going to remain strong for them throughout this whole ordeal."

They had heard about the murders of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence nearby in Irvine, which is not known for many violent crimes, but like everyone else, they did not link the slayings to Dorner until the suspect released his manifesto online the next day.

"When you get a phone call that someone is after your family, and then a very short distance away from your home, they already killed someone else's daughter, it made me sick to my stomach," said Phil Tingirides, who has headed the LAPD's Southeast Division the past six years.

He explained that after he received that call, he contacted his wife, who was driving a black-and-white unit back from the Ramona Gardens housing project in East Los Angeles, where she does community-relations policing for the LAPD. They then contacted each of their children and told them to go to their home, where they were met by Irvine police officers who stayed with them until the parents arrived.

Over the next six days, it became a "challenge" for the Tingirideses to keep their children from being exposed to the media coverage of the Dorner manhunt, which in those early days included the wounding of two LAPD officers protecting a target of the suspect and the assassination of a Riverside cop on routine patrol.

"My 10-year-old was able to ask me by the end of the day if the family that was killed in Irvine down the street from us is the same man that's hunting us down," Emada Tingirides said.

The family turned the television off after that.

"The information coming in was overwhelming for the kids," Phil said. "We could see the fear growing."

He spent much time thereafter on the phone getting updates on the case and only sharing with his family what they absolutely needed to know to stay safe. Board games, movies on TV and the Xbox were used to kill time.

"Out of everything, you can find something good, and we did in this case," Phil said. "It brought our family closer together."

His family was in danger because he chaired the three-member disciplinary panel that included another LAPD commander and a civilian.

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