SAN BERNARDINO – Law enforcement agencies received a warning about fugitive ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner just seconds before a fatal attack, newly released information confirmed on Tuesday.
An arrest warrant made public confirmed the fact that two Riverside police officers, Michael Crain and Andrew Tachias, got word at 1:33 a.m. on Feb. 7. According to the warrant, Dorner opened fire on the two officers at that same time. It was an attack that killed Crain, 35, and severely wounded Tachias, 27.
Dorner, whose published manifesto vowed to kill any police officer and their families in retaliation for his 2009 dismissal from LAPD, was later tracked to a San Bernardino Mountains resort where he his life ended after a massive manhunt.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Los Angeles Times made a public records request to release information about the chain of events that led to the shooting. A judge ordered the unsealing of an affidavit since Dorner was no longer a threat.
At 1:24 a.m. on Feb. 7, L.A. officers were investigating Dorner’s threats in the Riverside County community of Corona, his manifesto having been discovered one day earlier. In that manifesto, Dorner had referred to murders of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, both of Irvine. Quan was the daughter of the former LAPD captain who defended Dorner in his 2008 disciplinary hearing. Lawrence was a member of campus police force at USC.
LAPD investigators had traced Dorner to the Corona area on February 7th. At 1:24 a.m., those officers were alerted by a witness who had spotted Dorner. The LAPD officers requested backup when he stopped near Interstate 215, and fired multiple shots at their police car. A bullet grazed one of the officers, who returned fire. Dorner escaped in his truck and headed east into neighboring Riverside. An all-points bulletin was issued nine minutes later.
Another witness said he pulled up to a Riverside police cruiser at the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington avenues at 1:33 a.m. The driver said he saw a Nissan pickup, its window down, come to a stop facing the police car from across the intersection. Dorner, according to the witness, was wearing a camouflage jacket, aimed a camouflage-colored rifle at the police car, fired 10 shots into the driver’s side of the police car. He fled north on Magnolia, the witness pursuing the car until Dorner turned west on Central Ave. Police later collected 13 shell casings at the shooting scene which matched the casings of the shooting in Corona.
On Feb. 11, murder charges were filed against Dorner by the Riverside District Attorney’s office. In the next few days, Dorner was tracked by multiple agencies at Big Bear, located in the San Bernardino Mountains. Eventually, he wound up in Angelus Oaks, about a half hour drive from Big Bear. While surrounded in a vacant vacation cabin, Dorner opened fire on San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies, killing Jeremiah Mackay, seriously wounding another deputy, Alex Collins.
After officers fired tear gas into the cabin, which eventually caught fire, a single gunshot was heard from inside the building. Coroner’s officials believe that Dorner died from a self-inflicted shot.
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