RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KTLA) — A massive manhunt is underway for a double murder suspect who is a former police officer, after three officers were shot overnight, one fatally. The suspect is believed to be Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, a former LAPD officer and Navy reservist, known to be a skilled sniper. Officials warned that he is armed and dangerous. Dorner is believed to be driving a blue or gray Nissan Titan pickup, California license plate 8D83987 or similar. He may have changed the plates. A blue alert for the suspect has been issued for Kern, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial counties. Two LAPD officers were in Corona around 1:45 a.m. Thursday on a special detail related to the search for Dorner, who posted an online manifesto threatening police.
A citizen approached the officers, and directed them to a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s truck. The officers responded to where the vehicle was parked and saw an individual who fit the description of Dorner. The suspect vehicle sped away, and the officers followed as the vehicle entered the 15 Freeway near Magnolia Avenue. The suspect then opened fire on the officers with a shoulder-type weapon (like a rifle) while they were in their vehicle. The officers took cover and returned fire. One officer suffered a graze wound and was treated at the scene. The other officer was not injured.
Minutes later, around 1:30 a.m., two Riverside police officers were shot while on routine patrol in a marked unit near Magnolia and Arlington, police said. The officers were stopped at a red light when they were ambushed. They were not actively searching for Dorner, according to Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint. The officers were taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where one was pronounced dead. The other was undergoing surgery and was said to be in critical condition. Riverside police do not believe that the Dorner is still in the immediate area, according to Toussaint. He said it would be up to individual schools in the area to decide how to proceed. Classes were canceled at Notre Dame High School and Riverside Christian Day School.
Police in Corona said that schools in the area have been alerted to the ongoing situation, but classes were continuing as normal. Meantime, police say they believe Dorner attempted to steal a boat from an elderly man around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday — before the shootings — at Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma. The 81-year-old boat owner reported being accosted and tied up by a man who threatened him with a gun and said he wanted the boat to flee to Mexico. However, a rope became entangled in the propeller while the suspect was trying to start the boat, rendering it inoperable. The suspect took the boat owner’s cell phone and fled the scene. The boat owner was not harmed. Around 2 a.m. Thursday, a wallet containing a badge and the ID for Dorner was found near Lindbergh Field, not far from the scene of the attempted boat theft. It was found along Harbor Drive by a passerby and turned over to police. It wasn’t immediately clear what agency the badge represented or it it was legitimate.
Earlier in the week, on Monday, items reportedly belonging to Dorner were found in National City, including what’s being described as police gear. The items were impounded and claimed by Irvine police on Wednesday as part of their investigation. On Wednesday evening, Irvine police named Dorner as the suspect in the double murder of Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiancee, Keith Lawrence. Authorities said that Dorner posted an online manifesto on his Facebook page threatening to harm police officials and their families. In the online posting, Dorner specifically named retired L.A. police captain Randy Quan, the father of Monica Quan. Randy Quan apparently served as Dorner’s representative in the process that ultimately led to Dorner’s dismissal. Dorner was fired in 2008 for allegedly making false statements about his field training officer, who he accused of kicking a suspect. In his online postings, Dorner said he suffered from severe depression and was filled with rage at the people who forced him from his job. He said he didn’t mind dying, because he had already died when he was fired form the LAPD. Law enforcement sources said police have placed security at the homes of L.A. police officials named in the manifesto and believe Dorner has numerous weapons.