[UPDATED with Hot Gassing Defended:] Christopher Jordan Dorner War Is Over!
UPDATE, FEB. 11, 3:40 P.M.: At a just-concluded news conference, LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Andrew Neiman urged the public to consider the $1 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of triple-homicide suspect Chris Dorner a reward, not a bounty.
"We do not need bounty hunters taking him into custody," Neiman said of Dorner, who of course has been described as armed and extremely dangerous. "We don't want anyone else hurt."
The spokesman made a distinction between those who see or think they see Dorner, who were instructed to call 9-1-1, and those who have information on where he is, where he is heading or anything else relevant to the investigation. As the Irvine Police Department announced earlier in the day, tipsters are to call 1.213.486.6860 or 1.800.222.8477.
Before LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Charlie Beck announced the $1 million reward Sunday, LA County Supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Mark Ridley-Thomas announced they're offering a $100,000 reward of their own, as is the city of Riverside and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Meanwhile, Neiman urged the media to only present recent photos of Dorner that have been released, as opposed to those from when he was younger and thinner. The newer shots will most help the public spot Dorner, according to the spokesman.
Responding to reporter questions, Neiman said:
- An independent review of Dorner's LAPD dismissal is possible because the department has an independent inspector general appointed by the police commission. "He is willing to talk with anyone about any allegation," Neiman said of the I.G. Asked whether an outside investigator might look into Dorner's complaint, Neiman said, "I don't have any statement on that."
- He had no information on an officer-involved shooting in Temecula at that time. KCAL/Channel 9 later reported via helicopter newsman that an unmarked police car appears to have a taxicab blocked in a residential area, but the reporter did not know if the incident is Dorner-related.
- He had no information on whether Dorner has reached out to anyone since his burning truck was found.
- More tactical alerts--where police will respond slowly or not at all to routine calls because of incidents related to the Dorner case--are possible, but the city is not currently under one now.
At 3 p.m., Neiman was asked to repeat much of what he'd already said for newscasts that were breaking in live at that moment. "Are you kidding?" he responded.
He then went over the general tips about leaving tips, more than 700 of which have poured in since Sunday.
"This is a regional effort; information is coming in from wide and far," he said. "We're going to turn over every rock until we find this individual and make this city safe again. We are making great progress, but we need your help."
In other recent Dorner developments (Dornelopments?):
- What had earlier been reported as a hoax has now turned up in a federal arrest affidavit: Dorner or someone pretending to be him called Randy Quan, the retired LAPD cop whose daughter and future son-in-law were murdered in Irvine, and said he "should have done a better job of protecting his daughter." The call is said to have been traced to Vancouver, Washington, but authorities do not believe Dorner was there.
- The Riverside County district attorney's office announced it will seek the death penalty for Dorner for the murder of the Riverside city police officer who has now been identified: Michael Crain, 34.
- LAPD spokesman Andrew Smith previous said "an army" of cops will provide security at a public memorial service for Crain on Wednesday. A fund has been set up for anyone wishing to make a donation Crain's family. Checks can be mailed to: Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund (RPOA), 1965 Chicago Ave., Ste. B, Riverside, CA 92507.
- The LAPD is providing security and surveillance details to more than 50 police officers and their families, many of whom reside in Orange County or nearby. Chief Beck's schedule is not being released to the public or the media. Beck has labeled Dorner "a domestic terrorist."
- The affidavit filed last week indicates Dorner may be in Nevada or Mexico. Arizona officials have also called alerts.
- Dorner sightings in a Northridge Lowes home-improvement store and San Bernardino apartment complex Sunday were unfounded. That same night, the LAPD beefed up its presence at the Grammy Awards ceremony.
- It appears clear authorities no longer believe Dorner is in Big Bear, as the number of trackers has been cut drastically, down from a high of 200 last week to about 25 now, although a helicopter is still flying overhead. Big Bear Lake's chamber of commerce leader released a statement saying the weekend police operations did not put a dent in resort business. Well, thank God for that!
- The LA Times reports Dorner stalked some of the people in his manifesto for weeks.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 8:40 P.M.: Attention in the Chris Dorner manhunt has turned to Mexico, a Torrance Sports Chalet store and underwater.
The U.S. Marshals affidavit filed Thursday suggested the triple-homicide suspect may have fled to Mexico, citing his alleged attempt to steal a boat in San Diego and his I.D. being found near the border the middle of last week.
There are reports a Tijuana motel was just raided, but the person thought to be Dorner was not.
Oddly, at a just-concluded press conference, LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Andrew Neiman said investigators have not yet followed up on the attempted boat theft, but that they plan to check it out. "The investigation on Christopher Dorner is going in many directions," he said.
The affidavit filed in Santa Ana federal court also mentions a "J.Y.," who may be an accomplice. Dorner's manifesto included this: "Jason Young, a great friend, entrepreneur, husband and father. You showed me the importance of fatherhood and friendship. Love you, bro."
Authorities have not confirmed the J.Y. whose movements they are claimed to be tracking is Jason Young. Neither would Neiman when asked if a possible Dorner accomplice is under surveillance: "I can't confirm that."
He did say the LAPD now has in its possession video from a Torrance Sports Chalet that may show Dorner purchasing scuba gear two days before the Feb. 3 double murders in Irvine. The department will try to determine whether that really was the suspect, someone who looks like him or someone posing as him, the spokesman added.
In answering a reporter's question, Neiman confirmed something I have not seen disclosed elsewhere: that a sighting of the suspect was reported at a Manhattan Beach hotel. Again, the spokesman said detectives are trying to figure whether or not Dorner was really there.
To do so, hours of surveillance video will have to be examined. The manhunt task force will have even more to pore over, as a request has been made for Big Bear residents and merchants to turn over any surveillance video they have collected since Thursday.
Neiman mentioned there had been 250 tips collected before the $1 million reward was announced Sunday, and there are now more than 1,000 being prioritized and individually checked out. But given the wide net that has been cast to catch Dorner and reports that have cops on edge bouncing all around this vast region, Neiman was asked if officers and authorities are frustrated.
"It is frustrating," he confirmed. "We are hopeful something credible breaks loose from the public."
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 12:58 P.M.: KCAL/Channel 9 is reporting a resident has told its reporter Dorner tried to carjack someone and was soon thereafter captured off Highway 38 outside Big Bear.
"We got him, we got him," the resident said after flagging down the KCBS/KCAL news van.
Sirens could be heard in the background of the reporter's audio-only report.
Another KCBS reporter says he has received confirmation Dorner was captured.
"The description of the subject who stole the vehicle is similar to Christopher Dorner," Bachman added. "Deputies are searching the entire community with air support. People should expect closures on all mountain highways. No one is going to be coming down or allowed to go up."
Bachman could not confirm reports Dorner broke into a cabin, tied a couple up and fled with their vehicle, although she did say it was the person whose vehicle was stolen who provided the Dorner description.
There were reports at the same time a white truck is being sought.
Another KNBC reporter on the scene says shots have been fired and one or two officers may have been hit, based on emergency radio traffic.
News vans have been allowed to a remote wilderness area away from most Big Bear residences.
More to come ...
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 1:34 P.M.: A KNBC/Channel 4 reporter in a helicopter over a "tactical" scene below Big Bear near Seven Oaks off Highway 38 says emergency radio traffic indicates an officer was down and his colleagues tried to extract him while taking automatic gunfire.
The downed deputy has since been removed and moved to a helicopter for an airlift.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department confirms Dorner broke into a couple's cabin. He tied them up and later fled in their 2008 white Dodge pickup truck. That's believed to be the vehicle reported stolen.
A California Fish and Game warden fired at least one round at the truck, according to Riverside deputies, who say the vehicle was heading south on Highway 38 toward Cherry Valley.
UPDATED, FEB. 12, 1:46 P.M.: Radio traffic now indicates two officers were down.
Big Bear schools are on lockdown and parents are being told to stay away.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 1:55 P.M.: Dorner could have an impressive arsenal; he's reportedly made money since leaving LAPD and the Navy manufacturing weapons. There are also reports he has 34 legally registered guns.
Meanwhile, the Manhattan Beach hotel mentioned in previous reports is believed to be where Dorner wrote his manifesto, which went online Monday.
It's believed he was holed up in the Big Bear cabin since Thursday. KABC/Channel 7 reports the two female occupants of the cabin have been taken away by paramedics.
A Channel 4 anchorwoman claimed Dorner has been watching everything unfold on television from their cabin, without attributing that to anyone.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 2:09 P.M.: Chris Dorner is said to be pinned down in a cabin or nearby high ground near Glass Road off Highway 38 outside the Seven Oaks area.
Officers there have their guns drawn. Smoke, perhaps from a canister thrown by law enforcement to mark the area, is seen filling the sky. Shots have rung through the area for 20 minutes.
"This is the break we've all been waiting for," Big Bear Lakes Mayor Jay Obernolte tells CNN.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 2:36 P.M.: The Crestview cabin Dorner invaded and has been holed up in since Thursday morning is practically across the street from the Bear Mountain command center where media and law enforcement have been gathered about as long, according to a spokesman at the resort.
It was only today that one of the two female occupants of the cabin managed to break free and call 9-1-1. That call set off the chain of events that seem to be culminating near snow-covered cabins off Glass Road. One of the two women checked by paramedics told authorities Dorner had a handgun with a silencer, an automatic weapon and smoke grenades.
No condition report for the wounded officers has been received.
A California Department and Fish and Game spokesman confirms one of its wardens was the first law-enforcement official to spot Dorner's escape vehicle and that both got out of their vehicles and exchanged gunfire. No CDFG officers were injured, the official added.
The Bear Valley Unified School District has lifted the lockdown and allowed parents to return to all schools except the one closest to Seven Oaks.
There is a roadblock at Highway 38 in Barton Flats preventing all vehicles except law enforcement's from coming down or going up.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 3:15 P.M.: The LAPD has sent unspecified resources up to the San Bernardino Mountains to assist in the capture of a suspect presumed to be Chris Dorner, said Commander Andrew Smith of the media division at a press conference.
"This is a San Bernardino County Sheriff's investigation; this is their lead," Smith explained. "We are there to support if asked."
Smith said the task force has received 1,045 clues and will continue to work those as the events unfold in Big Bear.
Authorities are not positive the man barricaded in a Seven Oaks area cabin is indeed Dorner and won't be "until we have him in custody," cautioned Smith, who added he could not confirm whether there are hostages in what is now the second cabin the suspect is believed to have invaded.
Smith said Dorner or whoever is inside the cabin may be watching live television "so we don't want to tip our hand," noting that the San Bernardino County sheriff has asked media helicopters to pull back so as not to give the suspect a "tactical advantage." (The LA Times, quoting the real-estate person who owns the cabin, says no television, Internet or weapons other than the suspect's are inside.)
If it is Dorner inside the cabin, Smith had a message for him: "Enough is enough. It is time to turn yourself in; it is time to stop this bloodshed."
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 3:47 P.M.: At least one of the two deputies shot by a suspect believed to be Dorner has died, reports the Los Angeles Times from Loma Linda University Medical Center, where a press conference looms.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 4:17 P.M.: A KCBS-TV reporter who found himself caught in the gunfire between law enforcement and a suspect in a Seven Oaks area cabin believed to be Dorner earlier today says when he rolled up he saw a rifle on the ground, an ammo clip and a bulletproof vest he assumes belonged to one of the wounded deputies.
The station has played dramatic audio of the gun battle recorded by correspondent Carter Evans, who says on live TV he had not heard any shots fired for about an hour before tear-gas rounds resumed at 4:15 p.m. A "significant amount of smoke" can now be seen pouring out of the cabin, he said.
Since Evans first arrived outside the cabin, a "massive" police operation has since surrounded it, something he referred to as a "surge" that resembles a "war zone." Officers, who have switched their normal uniforms for camos, are currently trying to communicate with the holed-up man via a megaphone.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 4:20 P.M.: Evans of KCBS says he has eyeballs on the Big Bear cabin, which is now "engulfed in flames."
"These flames are growing very quickly, the entire cabin is in flames, a plume of black smoke is rising, and officers are standing still" with guns drawn.
No one is making a move to put the fire out, he added.
UPDATE, FEB. 12, 4:27 P.M.: San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon confirms in front of the Loma Linda hospital that one of his deputies died in the cabin gun battle. The sheriff would not confirm where that deputy was shot, how long he'd served or his name, saying the investigation continues and family still needs to be notified.
McMahon confirmed the second deputy, also unidentified, is from his agency, currently in surgery and expected to recover.
Both deputies were made aware Dorner was the one apparently shooting at them, the sheriff said.