The manhunt for ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner, wanted in the vendetta murders of three people, including a police officer, focused Friday on the Big Bear Lake mountain resort town 100 miles east of Los Angeles where officers patrolled in full tactical gear.
Officials confirmed at a news conference Thursday that a torched truck they discovered on a quiet forest road in Big Bear belonged to Dorner, the 33-year-old former police officer and Navy reservist suspected in the weekend double murder of a former police captain's daughter and her fiancé, as well as shootings on Thursday that targeted law enforcement officers. One officer was killed and another was severely wounded.
Footprints were found trailing from the charred vehicle into the snow near Club View Drive in Big Bear.
"He could be anywhere at this point," San Bernardino County Sheriff McMahon told the Los Angeles Times
Thursday, adding that the burnt truck could even be some sort of diversion or trap. "Anything's possible."
Dorner is reportedly acting on a long-standing grudge against the Los Angeles Police Department, after being fired in 2009 for making false statements against another officer.
Authorities told the media Wednesday that they were searching for Dorner after reportedly recovering a multi-page online "manifesto
," in which Dorner had made multiple threats against different people, including members of the LAPD.
Police ordered a lockdown of Big Bear around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, warning residents to stay in their homes and not to answer the door. The school superintendent issued a statement, saying kids would be kept inside the school until a parent or guardian could pick them up. Deputies took up posts at the bottom of the mountain on highway entrances and exits to check all incoming and outgoing vehicles, and SWAT team members were also dispatched to the area.
Police said they would continue to search, even as an approaching winter storm threatens to blanket the Big Bear mountains with up to six inches of snow Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Schools, businesses and ski resorts will reopen Friday, if the weather holds, police told the Times.
Dorner is accused of fatally shooting a newly engaged couple in Irvine on Sunday as part of a revenge plot against law enforcement. One of the victims was the daughter of Randal Quan, LAPD's first Asian-American captain who was mentioned by name in Dorner's manifesto.
Quan was also the lawyer who represented Dorner in front of the job board that fired him.
Dorner shot at four police officers early Thursday morning in two separate encounters.
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