[UPDATED with Hot Gassing Defended:] Christopher Jordan Dorner War Is Over!
UPDATE, FEB. 7, 2:30 P.M.: Reporters in TV news helicopters hovering over deputies trudging through the Big Bear snow in search of Dorner say law-enforcement radio traffic has confirmed the burned-out truck off Crestview belonged to the suspect.
Deputies on the ground in rugged terrain were also overheard saying they will need skis and snowshoes to continue their search.
UPDATE, FEB. 7, 2:47 P.M.: A prayer vigil will be held for the slain police officer at 6 tonight at Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main St., Riverside.
Meanwhile, at the Big Bear manhunt site, darkness is hours away and a winter-storm warning has been forecast for the area where temperatures are expected to dip to 20 degrees Fahrenheit overnight.
UPDATE, FEB. 7, 3:48 P.M.: San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon just wrapped up a news conference in which he confirmed the truck found belonged to Dorner, that door-to-door searches of every residence in Big Bear are ongoing, and law enforcement is at the base of the hill at highways 18 and 38 to check each vehicle leaving the mountains.
McMahon said the burned truck was confirmed to be Dorner's at 2:30 p.m. A tow truck arrived around 3:15 p.m. to pull the wreckage from its remote perch. McMahon confirmed Dorner was not inside the cab, but the sheriff would not reveal what was contained in it.
On whether Dorner is in the area, he's familiar with it because of military R&R facilities nearby or the truck fire was a diversion, McMahon answered the same: "Anything's possible."
There had been reports of shots fired in the Big Bear area earlier today, but McMahon could not confirm those.
About 50 law-enforcement vehicles from various local, state and federal agencies have now converged on the Bear Mountain ski resort command post.
KCAL/Channel 9 TV news says it has received "unprecedented" demands from law enforcement to have its news helicopters pull back and not focus cameras on officers conducting the search in Big Bear.
UPDATE, FEB. 7, 5:50 P.M.: San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said he assumes Dorner is still in the Big Bear area, and the 125 law enforcement officers from various agencies will continue to search residences and remote regions until something indicates the suspect is not in the area.
At a just-concluded press conference, McMahon disclosed officers were able to follow tracks leading away from the burned truck, but they did not lead to Dorner. Pressed about the direction of those tracks, the sheriff said they did not lead to residences but a remote area.
The Orange County Sheriff's and Irvine Police departments are among the agencies up on the mountain participating in the search. Irvine officers will also help with the processing of Dorner's truck, which just got under way.
McMahon said the search will continue all night or as long as weather permits, as a storm is coming. So far, the snow has not adversely effected bloodhounds and the white stuff has helped when it comes to tracking, he added.
The sheriff repeated that trackers fear "baiting" may be going on, meaning Dorner is trying to get them into an area where he can fire on them. These fears escalate because of the suspect's police and military training, McMahon added. "This is a very dangerous individual," he said.
Tips about Dorner's whereabouts have been flooding in from all over the state, but no one in Big Bear has reported seeing him, according to the sheriff.
UPDATE, FEB. 7, 9:25 P.M.: A San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman, who seemed to know not much more than reporters firing questions at her, indicated the search for Dorner continues at this hour, about 400 Big Bear residences have been checked out and aircraft with heat-seeking technology are flying overhead. *Revised.
But it's what she also said that may be the strongest indication the triple-homicide suspect is not in Big Bear: schools and the Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts will reopen tomorrow morning.
Meaning business as usual, meaning it's unlikely law enforcement believes Dorner is in the area, if he's even been there at all.
The spokeswoman said tracks in the snow are the strongest clues trackers have to go on--and then said she knew of no other tracks other than the ones the sheriff mentioned earlier near the burned truck.
Meanwhile, temperatures dropping, a storm is coming and if Dorner is not in Big Bear, Southern California cops are going to be sleeping with one eye open tonight.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 7:35 A.M.: The California Highway Patrol just issued an advisory saying Dorner may be driving a white Lexus that was spotted in the Barstow area.
The car might also be a Volvo, according to the special notice.
The Bear Valley Unified School District had already announced earlier its schools will close due to the continued manhunt. The Rim of the World Unified School District, which is also in the San Bernardino Mountains, is also closing its schools but that is due to storm conditions.
The Norwalk Christian School that introduced Dorner to racism, according to his manifesto, also closed as a precaution.
CBS News correspondent John Miller, a former top LAPD official, noted on air Dorner cut off all his cell phones and other connections Jan. 31, which feeds into a theory a former FBI tracker is proposing up and down the dial: the ex-cop likely planned his militaristic revenge plot for months.
Former LAPD chief William Bratton has said, through CNN, that he believes the suspect's burned truck left on an access road between the Snow Summit and Bear Mountain resorts was a diversion.
Anderson Cooper interviewed Bratton Thursday evening because of what the snow-haired CNN anchor received in the mail on Feb. 1: a package from Dorner containing a sticky note stating the ex-cop did not lie, a DVD with "exoneration" scrawled on it and a "Challenge Coin" the ex-LAPD chief gave to his cops headed overseas on military reserve deployments. Holes through the badge emblem in the middle of the coin indicated Dorner had shot it up--"Probably a .22," Bratton guessed--and scrawled on duct tape in the Cooper package was a message to the ex-chief: "Thanks but no thanks Will Bratton."
Bratton does not recall meeting Dorner, despite a widely publicized photo of the two shaking hands, but he's certain the ex-cop is "an incredibly dangerous individual." Besides Dorner's police training, he earned a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal while assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, serving in Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.
"When you see that that coin that was given in friendship and respect has three bullet holes," Bratton told CBS Morning News today, "it's certainly very chilling."
You want chilling? Dorner's manifesto vows to "utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I've been given."
In another new development closer that's actually within our coverage area, it turns out Dorner was briefly married to an undercover narcotics officer living in Long Beach. They married in Las Vegas in April 2007 and jointly filed for divorce a month later. But neighbors say Dorner frequently visited the home and took care of the landscaping, having last been seen there a couple months ago.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 8:34 A.M.: The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, which is coordinating the multi-agency search for Dorner, says trackers are zeroing in on a wooded area about a mile away from their Bear Mountain ski resort command post, reports KTLA/Channel 5.
The aerial search has been suspended due to weather conditions, however, as heavy snow falls on Big Bear.
A 9 a.m. press conference has been scheduled.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 9:28 A.M.: At a just-concluded press conference, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said that despite the weather in Big Bear, law enforcement has everything they need to keep the community safe and "catch this guy."
More than 100 officers from various agencies tracking Dorner have the clothing, gear and vehicles they need to continue searching for the triple-homicide suspect, emphasizing snowcats and armored vehicles with chains are reaching remote mountain roads.
"We will continue searching until we discover he left the mountain or we find him," McMahon said. ". . . We're doing whatever we can to keep people safe and catch this guy."
He acknowledged Dorner had time since his burning truck was discovered yesterday to leave the mountain but added there are a couple other places in the woods his searchers have not yet reached. He noted there are abandoned cabins up on the mountain the suspect could be holed up in. The sheriff would not talk in specifics about earlier media reports that had trackers focused on a specific wooded area about a mile from his command center.
Pressed about tracks that led away from the burned truck, he said trackers followed them as far as they could before the markings disappeared on frozen ground.
Not all village residences have been searched, according to McMahon, adding, "There is no indication he has come down to the community at all."
The sheriff praised the way officers from different agencies are cooperating in the search. "We're all working side by side to solve this."
He said an earlier sighting about Dorner being in a white Lexus in Barstow proved false. The CHP has since backed away from its advisory about the sighting as well.
That's the same day Anderson Cooper received his creepy package from Dorner, two days before Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence were murdered in cold blood in Irvine and six days before the Riverside police officer was fatally shot.
According to the Navy:
- Dorner joined the branch on July 3, 2002.
- He achieved the rank of lieutenant on Aug. 1, 2006.
- He was stationed primarily in the San Diego area and served six months in Bahrain, from November 2006 to April 2007.
- Dorner was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Medal, the Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device, a Rifle Marksman Ribbon and a Pistol Expert Medal.
One thing the Navy has not disclosed: why Dorner was discharged.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 10:18 A.M.: The downtown Los Angeles Twin Towers jail building has been surrounded by police in helmets following a reported Dorner spotting in the parking lot there this morning.
Officers on the street are not letting anyone in, including those reporting to be incarcerated.
Developing . . .
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 11:01 A.M.: It was a worker sighting someone who fit Dorner's description that led to the downtown Los Angeles Twin Towers jail building being placed on lockdown and surrounding streets being closed to traffic.
It's worth noticing that earlier spottings of Dorner in Barstow and Barona Casino in San Diego County ultimately proved false.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 11:31 A.M.: A "modified" lockdown of the Twin Towers jail has been lifted, KABC/Channel 7 reports.
The Dorner sighting there has not been officially confirmed, the station adds. One reason for concern, according to an LA County sheriff's spokesman: Dorner's ex-wife (of Long Beach) currently works at that jail.
"We're having no problems getting to the areas we need to search," said McMahon, who added all residences have been checked out. The sheriff said the manhunt will continue through the weekend if necessary.
A final press briefing today by McMahon is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Before the press conference, authorities disclosed Dorner has no special military survivalist training.
Bill Jahn, the mayor of the city of Big Bear Lake, after being introduced by the sheriff, said ski resorts are operating normally and he's confident his constituents are being adequately protected. Jahn encouraged continued patronage of Big Bear merchants.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 1:13 P.M.: A search warrant was served at Chris Dorner's last known address at 4931 Sharon Dr., La Palma, according to authorities.
Officers in flak jackets are still outside the home at this time.
Earlier media reports stated Dorner resided with his mother in La Palma.
An LAPD tactical alert that had been lifted early this morning was later reinstated due to reports of Dorner sightings throughout Southern California today.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 2:10 P.M.: Lieutenant Bill Whalen of the Irvine Police Department says officers from his agency, La Palma, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals office will be at the La Palma home for the next several hours as they remove possible evidence, including computer hard drives, that can help lead to Dorner.
Orange County's computer forensics lab will receive computer items, Whalen adds.
The triple-homicide suspect's mother and sister were questioned inside the home, KCLA/Channel 9 reports.
The FBI previously disclosed no weapons were found in a search of a Las Vegas home owned by Dorner.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 3:47 P.M.: The Irvine Police Department just released the most recent known photos of Chris Dorner:
|Photos courtesy of Irvine Police Department|
"Through follow-up investigation this recent image of Dorner was obtained from surveillance video of an Orange County hotel," reads a statement Irvine Police Lieutenant Julia Engen emailed to the media. "The image is the most recent available depicting Dorner's [appearance]. It was taken on Jan. 28, 2013. The purpose of distributing this image is to share how Dorner appeared in the recent past."
Anyone with information regarding Dorner's whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately.
UPDATE, FEB. 8, 4:19 P.M.: The mother of triple-homicide suspect Chris Dorner owns property in the San Bernardino Mountains, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman confirmed at a press conference.
Cindy Bachman said the undeveloped property with no structures on it is 35 miles from her Bear Mountain ski resort command post, near Lake Arrowhead. Law enforcement checked the land and found no signs of Dorner or anyone else having been there.
Trackers also got on some tracks in the snow, but it was determined to be the tracks of cross-country skiers, according to Bachman, who added a remote cabin discovered about 6 miles from the command post had a kicked-in door and that the damage turned out to be old. No one had been in there for quite some time, she said.
She said the search will end after nightfall and pick up again Saturday. A dozen two-man units will patrol Big Bear tonight, she added. "We're going to keep looking until we determine he's not here," Bachman said.
Asked if law enforcement believes Dorner is still on the mountain, she answered, "It's possible"--which was the same answer she gave to the question of whether it's believed he left the area long ago.
Bachman said she had not been briefed about media reports that Dorner received survivalist training in Alaska. And, speaking of cold places, that's the only thing about Big Bear that is bothering the trackers.
""The level of frustration is it's just taking longer to do what they do best; that's their only frustration," she said. "The snow is really slowing them down, and there was no air support today."
UPDATE, FEB. 9, 12:50 P.M.: CBS News reports Dorner's burned truck sustained a broken axle and contained two assault rifles, a Glock and survival gear that lead authorities to assume he's still up on the mountain in Big Bear, where the manhunt resumed this morning with aerial support.
UPDATE, FEB. 10, 10:25 A.M.: The Irvine Police Department announced a joint task force has been formed to find Dorner as the Big Bear manhunt begins its fourth day.
"A Task force has been established including the following agencies Irvine Police Department, Riverside Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshall Service, Los Angeles Police Department and other allied agencies," reads an Irvine police statement, which perhaps tellingly leaves out a direct reference to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, which had been heading up the search.
"The Dorner Task Force has combined investigative resources that will lead to the capture of Christopher Dorner," the IPD statement continues. "Authorities are urging the public to provide information that will assist in locating Dorner as soon as possible."
Tips are being collected at 213.486.6860 and through CrimeStoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS (800.222.8477), although if you see Dorner you're asked to immediately call 9-1-1.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department announced a 1 p.m. press conference has been set to discuss a reward leading to finding Dorner.
On Saturday, LAPD revealed it will launch a sweeping investigation into Dorner's complaints as outlined in his infamous manifesto, which extends beyond his allegations he was unjustly dismissed from the agency. Officials say this is not being done to legitimize Dorner's actions, but rather to reassure the public his complaints were completely investigated.
Speaking of the rambling manifesto, one of Dorner's "likes" posted a video thanking the triple-homicide subject--and urging him to call him. Charlie Sheen, who knows a thing or three about winning Anger Management, suggests they talk it out to together figure out "a way to end this thing." See his brief message via TMZ below (and sorry about the commercial, which should be for his FX sitcom):
In other developments:
- A Buena Park storage facility that Dorner rents was searched Saturday, but Irvine police have not revealed what the contents were. That was a day after 10 bags of evidence, including electronic, were pulled out of the La Palma home of Dorner's mother.
- CBS News reports the two high-powered rifles left in Dorner's truck had silencers and that, besides the Glock and survival gear, a gas mask and night-vision goggles were inside.
- The 54-year-old LAPD captain who chaired Dorner's dismissal board has not left his Orange County home since the rampage began. "From what I've seen of his actions, he feels he can make allegations for injustice and justify killing people and that's not reasonable," Captain Phil Tingirides tells The Orange County Register. "The end never justifies the means."
- The Navy revealed Dorner had flight training, so the aviation community has been warned to be on the lookout for him.
- LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Saturday visited and apologized to the two women injured by gunfire his officers fired at the truck they were in to deliver newspapers in Torrance early Thursday. Beck had previously called it a case by mistaken identity by cops protecting one of Dorner's high-value targets. The suspect--6 feet tall, 270 pounds and African-American--had been driving a gray pickup. The women--short Latinas--were in a very blue truck, which Beck vowed to replace. The LAPD previously revealed the officers were placed on administrative leave.
- Irvine police revealed the Dorner items officers picked up from a National City dumpster were a clip with hollow-tip bullets, a military belt and a military helmet.