Manhunt for former LAPD officer turns to snowy San Bernardino mountains
On Saturday, the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, took police in the snowy California mountains. Dorner is accused of shooting and killing three people, wounding two police officers, and is thought to be targeting up to 40 others.
Big Bear Lake, Calif.
All that was left were footprints leading away from Christopher Dorner's burned-out truck, and an enormous, snow-covered mountain where he could be hiding among the skiers, hundreds of cabins and dense California woods.Skip to next paragraph
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More than 100 law enforcement officers, some in armored personnel carriers, hunted for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of going on a deadly rampage this week to get back at those he blamed for ending his police career. Three were dead, including one officer.
With bloodhounds in tow, officers went door to door as snow fell, aware they could be walking into a trap set by the well-trained former U.S. Navy reservist who knows their tactics as well as they do.
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"The bottom line is, when he decides that he is going to make a stand, the operators are in great jeopardy," said T. Gregory Hall, a retired tactical supervisor for a special emergency response team for the Pennsylvania State Police.
Police said officers were guarding more than 40 people mentioned as targets in a rant they said Dorner posted on Facebook. He vowed to use "every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I've been given" to bring "warfare" to the Los Angeles Police Department and its families.
The manhunt had Southern California residents on edge. Some law enforcement officials speculated that he appeared to be everywhere and nowhere, and that he was trying to spread out their resources.
The focus was on the mountains east of Los Angeles — a snowy wilderness, filled with deep canyons, thick forests and jagged peaks. Bad weather grounded helicopters with heat-sensing technology.
Property records show his mother owns undeveloped land nearby, but a search of the area found no sign of him.
In his online rant, Dorner seemed to taunt authorities.
"I have the strength and benefits of being unpredictable, unconventional, and unforgiving," he wrote.
Authorities said they did not know how long Dorner had been planning the rampage. Even with training, days of cold and snow can be punishing.
"Unless he is an expert in living in the California mountains in this time of year, he is going to be hurting," said former Navy SEAL Clint Sparks, who now works in tactical training and security.