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.