Manhunt cabin in flames; possible burned body of suspect inside

Feb 12, 2013


RIVERSIDE – A fired Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with the slayings of two people in Irvine and a Riverside police officer allegedly exchanged gunfire today with law enforcement authorities in Big Bear, killing a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another, after apparently tying up two people and stealing a vehicle.

The possible burned body in the cabin is belived to Dorners. The cabin is still burning and it’s to hot for anyone to go near it. No body has been found.

Both of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where one was pronounced dead, according to Sheriff John McMahon. As of late afternoon, the second deputy was in surgery, but he was expected to survive, McMahon said.

Meanwhile, suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner was believed to be holed up inside a Big Bear cabin, which caught fire late this afternoon not long after tear gas canisters were fired into the building. Gunfire could be heard coming from the cabin as it burned, possibly ammunition exploding due to the flames.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said deputies received a report around 12:20 p.m. that a person matching Dorner’s description stole a vehicle from a home in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.

A witness told ABC7 that the suspect had tied up two people inside the home — possibly a housekeeper and her daughter — and stole a vehicle. It was unclear exactly how long Dorner may have been in the cabin.

The vehicle was spotted a short time later on Highway 38 near Glass Road, Bachman said. A state Fish and Wildlife official told KCAL9 that wardens spotted Dorner and tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop and opened fire on the wardens, who were not injured, before fleeing on foot.

A witness told Channel 9 that Dorner apparently came out of the woods and carjacked a man driving silver pickup truck, which was later seen down an embankment in a wooded area. A massive police pursuit led to a cabin off Highway 38 where the suspect barricaded himself and engaged in a major gun battle with officers, Bachman said. Some reports indicated that hundreds of rounds were fired — leading to the shooting of the two San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies.

 

 

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Dorner manhunt: 2 deputies shot in Big Bear foot chase, gun battle

Feb 12, 2013

RIVERSIDE – A fired Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with the slayings of two people in Irvine and a Riverside police officer allegedly exchanged gunfire today with law enforcement authorities in Big Bear, wounding two deputies, after apparently tying up two people and stealing their pickup truck.

The condition of the wounded deputies was not immediately known, a sheriff’s official told KCAL9.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said deputies received a report at 12:20 p.m. that a person matching Christopher Jordan Dorner’s description stole a truck from a home in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.

A state Fish and Wildlife official told KCAL9 that wardens spotted Dorner in a vehicle along Highway 38 near 7 Oaks Road and tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop and opened fire on the wardens.

He then bailed out of the vehicle and ran away on foot, prompting a massive police pursuit and gun battle, the official said.

Police shut down major roads in and out of the Big Bear area.

Riverside County sheriff’s officials said in a broadcast advisory that a man believed to be Dorner was involved in a home-invasion robbery at the home on Club View Drive and two people were tied up inside the house. The suspect fled in the couple’s 2008 white Dodge pickup with a back hitch, according the Riverside County sheriff’s broadcast.

On Feb. 3, Dorner allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in- law of the ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD. The bodies of 28-year-old college basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old USC public safety officer Keith Lawrence, were found in his car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.

The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. About 50 Los Angeles police officers and their families are being protected, authorities said.

On Thursday, Dorner was allegedly involved in the shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer’s home in Corona, leaving an LAPD officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on the pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Crain, 34, and wounding the other. The wounded officer was expected to recover.

Crain, an 11-year department veteran, was a former Marine. He is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left “an unforgettable impression” on everyone he met, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said. His funeral is set for Wednesday.

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Chirstopher Dorner charged with capital murder

Feb 12, 2013

Christopher Dorner was charged with capital murder Monday by Riverside County prosecutors for the Thursday morning fatal shooting  of Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain. He was also charged with three counts of attempted murder for the shooting of Crain’s partner and a shooting attack on two LAPD officers in Corona. One of the LAPD officers suffered a graze wound in that shooting, which occurred about 15-20 minutes before Crain and his partner were attacked, police said.

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Massive man hunt for Ex-cop extends to Mexico

Feb 12, 2013

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – With a $1 million reward being offered for information leading to his capture and conviction, triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner remained the target of a massive manhunt today, with the dragnet now stretching across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexican authorities got a tip that the 33-year-old fired Los Angeles Police Department officer, who is suspected of killing two people in Irvine and a police officer in Riverside, had been spotted at the Tapatio Hotel in Tijuana, but when they raided it Monday night, he was not there.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection was expected to increase its scrutiny of vehicles traveling into Mexico amid the burgeoning search for Dorner.

Authorities have received more than 1,000 clues and tips on Dorner’s possible whereabouts, up from about 250 before the reward was announced, said LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman at a briefing this morning at LAPD headquarters.

“We will investigate all investigative leads,” said Neiman, adding, “with 1,000 clues or tips, you have to prioritize.”

Neiman said investigators were trying to determine if Dorner was at a Manhattan Beach hotel last week, and they also were trying to determine if a man depicted in security video buying Scuba equipment on Feb. 1 at a sporting goods store was Dorner or someone who looked like him.

He said drone aircraft were not being used by the LAPD in the search for Dorner, but he stopped short of saying that they were not being used by other law enforcement organizations.

Neiman said Monday that hundreds of local, state and federal investigators have been sorting through clues in their search for Dorner. A reported sighting at a Northridge home-improvement store on Sunday led to an hours-long search. On Monday, a man matching Dorner’s description was questioned by police as he exited a KFC restaurant in Tarzana.

Neiman urged anyone with information on Dorner’s possible whereabouts to call (213) 486-6860, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. However, anyone seeing Dorner should call 911 immediately, Neiman said.

 

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Fundraising $ 100,000 more to capture tripple murder suspect

Feb 12, 2013

LOS ANGELES – The Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles City Council today each approved their $100,000 contributions to the $1 million reward being offered for information leading to the capture and conviction of triple-murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who recommended the county’s portion of the reward, said he received a call from officials in San Bernardino over the weekend looking for pledges toward the $1 million total.

“The idea came from (Los Angeles) chief of police Charlie Beck’s wife,” who said “a $1 million reward would bring this man to justice,” Antonovich said.

City Council members Dennis Zine and Mitch Englander introduced the motion for the city portion of the reward, noting that while Dorner is not accused of committing any crimes in the city, he is accused of opening fire at two Los Angeles Police Department officers in Corona, with one suffering a graze wound to the head.

“One of the individuals who was shot was a Los Angeles police officer who was on a mission for protection of an individual, or individuals,” Zine said. “… That’s why the Los Angeles City Council would have jurisdiction, since the three murders occurred outside of Los Angeles.”

Since the $1 million reward offer was announced over the weekend, police have received more than 1,000 tips from the public. The reward money includes donations from a variety of law enforcement associations and unions, police departments, private companies and federal authorities.

Antonovich noted that Holy Angels School in Arcadia had been shut down because the Rev. Michael Evans, who leads the parish, is the brother of a Los Angeles police sergeant considered a target of Dorner, who is a fired LAPD officer.

The massive manhunt has “created complete chaos, taking our men and woman off of patrol,” Antonovich said, adding that he hoped the reward would make a difference.

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Teacher takes gun to school investigation under way

Feb 12, 2013

SAN DIEGO – A Farb Middle School teacher was on compulsory paid leave today and facing possible felony charges for allegedly bringing a gun and knife to work, possibly as a means of defending himself in the event of a shooting or other violence at the campus, authorities reported.

Seventh- and eighth-grade English instructor Ned Carter Walker, 41, was taken into custody in a parking lot at the Tierrasanta school Monday morning and booked into county jail, according to San Diego Unified School District officials. He later posted bail and was released on his own recognizance.

SDUSD police Chief Rueben Littlejohn told reporters that Walker’s alleged decision to carry a loaded .380-caliber pistol and a knife with a 2 1/2- inch blade onto the school grounds may have been well-intentioned, but was nonetheless illegal and contrary to district regulations.

“We speculate that, based on reports from staff members, this employee had somewhat of an infatuation with guns and brought the weapon(s) to the school to protect himself in the event of a violent intruder,” Littlejohn said during a briefing late this morning.

Courtney Rizzo, interim principal at the La Cuenta Drive school, told parents in a letter that administrators were limited in the amount of information they could release on the allegations against Walker.

“Our focus is to continue to ensure that our students are safe, the learning process goes on as usual and we work with the proper authorities,” Rizzo wrote.

A conviction on either or both of the felony charges — one per weapon — that Carter could face in the case would be grounds for dismissal, district spokesman Jack Brandais said.

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Ex coach accused of sex with a high school female student sentenced

Feb 11, 2013

RIVERSIDE  – A former volunteer assistant basketball coach at Perris High School is expected to be sentenced tomorrow to six years in prison for carrying on a months-long sexual relationship with a female student.

Dominic Leon Evans, 49, pleaded guilty Jan. 24 to 24 felony charges, including lewd acts on a child under 15, sodomy of a minor and possession of child pornography.

The defense made a plea directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan, who accepted it without an objection from the District Attorney’s Office.

Dugan indicated a sentence of six years in prison would be imposed, though she could change that term. Had he been convicted by a jury, Evans could have faced more than 50 years behind bars.

The defendant, who is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, was arrested lat November following a sheriff’s investigation that uncovered evidence he had been engaging in sex with a a girl identified in court documents as Jane Doe.

According to the criminal complaint, between January and July of last year, the defendant engaged in a variety of sex acts with the girl. The locations of the meetings were not disclosed.

According to investigators, Evans worked as a volunteer coach for both the boys’ and girls’ basketball squads at Perris High, though how long he acted in that capacity could not be confirmed.

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Pope Bendecit XVI makes history first pope to resign in 600 years

Feb 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES – Cardinal Roger Mahony, who will travel to Rome to help select a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, reacted today to news that the pope would resign Feb. 28 due to his health.

“Surely one of his great legacies will be a continuing emphasis on the need for all Catholics to exercise their role as evangelizers in the world. His focus upon the new evangelization will continue to enliven all disciples of Jesus,” Mahony stated.

As a member of the College of Cardinals, Mahony recalled the April 2005 conclave in which the 85-year-old German-born pope was elected.

“I recall so clearly his words when he told the cardinals that he was choosing the name Benedict because of his fondness for the prayerfulness and the Rule of St. Benedict, and also because Pope Benedict XV (1914-1920) served during a time of turmoil and wars across the world,” Mahony stated.

The pope, who cited failing strength of mind and body, would become the first head of the Roman Catholic Church to resign from the lifelong appointment in about 600 years. He appointed 67 of the 118 cardinals who will pick a successor, who needs two-thirds approval to be elected pope.

Mahony said he looked forward to thanking the pope in person “and to participate in the conclave to elect his successor.”

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$ 1 million reward for ex-LAPD officer

Feb 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES  – The Los Angeles Police Department today lifted a tactical alert that allowed supervisors to keep officers past their shifts in connection with the search for suspected three-time killer Christopher Jordan Dorner, but motorcycle officers were ordered to continue doing their patrolling in cars to guard against them being picked off by the embittered ex-cop.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Sunday announced a  $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the 33-year-old Dorner, saying it had been raised from “business, unions, government, law enforcement and community groups.” Police Chief Charlie Beck, who says the reward was his wife’s idea, called it “the largest award ever offered locally.”

Dorner last Sunday allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in- law of the ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the Los Angeles Police Department. The bodies of 28-year-old college basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old Keith Lawrence, were found in a parked car in Irvine.

The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill several LAPD officers he named and their families. Fifty Los Angeles police officers and their families are being watched, authorities said.

On Thursday, Dorner was involved in a shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer’s home in Corona, leaving an LAPD officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on a pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing one and wounding the other.     Riverside police Sunday identified the slain officer as 34-year-old Michael Crain, an ex-Marine survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left “an unforgettable impression” on everyone he met, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said.

Crain’s funeral is set for Wednesday.

The search for Dorner, meanwhile, continues to include the area around Big Bear, where he abandoned his pickup truck and set it afire Thursday, but it has been scaled back.

An LAPD tactical alert that had been in effect over the weekend was lifted about 7 a.m. today, the LAPD reported. However, motorcycle patrols remained suspended by the LAPD as a security measure, according to the department.

Beck said Sunday that the crimes attributed to Beck in the past week amounted to “an act of domestic terrorism,” and Villaraigosa said the region rejects being placed under a “reign of terror.”

“This is a man who has targeted those that we entrust to protect the public. This is not about capturing a suspect, this is about preventing a future attack, maybe a murder,” Beck said.

Donors to the $1 million award for information leading to Dorner’s arrest and conviction included police officers associations in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Irvine, Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Staples Center’s AEG contributed, as did the United Firefighters of Los Angeles, the Association of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies, the FBI, First Watch, the city and county of Riverside and six anonymous donors.

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Helicopter crash leaves 3 tv crew members dead

Feb 11, 2013

ACTON  – Authorities today identified three men killed in a helicopter crash during filming in Acton.

The crash occurred at 3:40 a.m. Sunday on the Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch, 5726 Soledad Canyon Road, said Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher Robert Diaz.

The aircraft, a Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter, was substantially damaged, said Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Killed were the pilot, David Gibbs, 59, of Valencia; Darren Rydstrom, 46, of Whittier; and Michael Donatelli, 45, of the city of Indiana, Pa., said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

A movie reportedly was being shot on the ranch, which was closed to reporters. Signs at the gate pointed to a set for a production called “Bongo,” but firefighters could not confirm if that was the production that was underway during the crash. KCAL-TV reported that a company called “Bongo Productions” was shooting an unnamed reality show there.

The ranch is a movie, TV show and commercial location offered for rent to production companies. It has two airstrips and “miles of roads,” according to its website.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, Kenitzer said, with the NTSB serving as the lead investigative agency.

The crash happened about 35 miles east of the movie location where actor Vic Morrow and two small children were killed in 1982, when simulated artillery fire downed a helicopter hovering over them during the filming of “Twilight Zone: The Movie.”

Criminal charges were filed against director John Landis, but he was acquitted.

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