Christopher Dorner. (Photo: Irvine Police Department Press)
William M. Welch, USA TODAY
IRVINE, Calif. - Police are waging an intensive manhunt across Southern California for a former Los Angeles cop wanted in connection with a double murder and suspected of going on a revenge shooting spree.
Overnight shootings in Riverside County that left one officer dead and two wounded have been linked to the former Los Angeles officer, Christopher Dorner, who was named as a suspect in the slaying of a young couple here Sunday.
Across Southern California, digital traffic signs carried alerts urging motorists to report any sight of Dorner, believed to be driving a Nissan Titan pickup truck and considered armed and dangerous.
"I don't think there's anybody in law enforcement who isn't looking for him, along with about half the commuters in Southern California,'' said San Diego police Det. Gary Hassen.
Police there early Thursday recovered a badge and ID bearing Dorner's photograph, Hassen said. The items were found by a citizen near the San Diego airport, given to a shuttle bus driver and passed to police, he said.
Irvine Police Chief David Maggard named Dorner Wednesday night as the suspect in the slayings of Monica Quan, 28, an assistant basketball coach at California State University-Fullerton, and her fiance, David Lawrence, a University of Southern California campus security officer.
They were found dead of multiple gunshots in their car outside their Irvine condominium Sunday night.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a written statement that it was cooperating and that Dorner "has made threats against members of the LAPD, and we are taking those threats very seriously.'' It said police were taking steps to protect personnel and citizens that may have been threatened.
"Dorner is to be considered armed and extremely dangerous and we ask that anyone who sees Dorner, to not approach or attempt contacting him, but to immediately call 911 and notify law enforcement authorities,'' the Los Angeles police statement said.
Dorner was a Los Angeles officer from 2002 until 2008, when he was terminated, the department said.
Two overnight shootings were linked to the investigation, the first in the city of Corona, where two LAPD officers were providing security. One officer was grazed by a bullet, the Associated Press reported.
Riverside Lt. Guy Toussaint says two officers were stopped at a light while on routine patrol around 1:30 a.m. local time when someone shot them, the Associated Press reported. One of the officers was killed and the other was critically wounded.
Police say Dorner implicated himself in the killings in a "manifesto" that included threats against several people, including members of the LAPD.
Toussaint says police don't where Dorner is but think he left the area.
Monica Quan is the daughter of Randy Quan, a retired LAPD captain who was involved in the review process that ultimately led to Dorner's dismissal from the force.
Maggard said Dorner lost his LAPD job and implicated himself in the deaths with a multi-page manifesto obtained by police. He did not reveal other details.
In his online manifesto, the Los Angeles Times reported, Dorner wrote in reference to Quan and others, "Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over. Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family. There will be an element of surprise where you work, live, eat, and sleep."
"The violence of action will be high," he wrote. "... I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty."
"I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days," he wrote, according to the newspaper.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, the LAPD said Dorner was employed as a police officer from Feb. 7, 2002, until Sept. 4, 2008.
The slaying of the couple shocked this suburban city that prides itself on having one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.
The couple was found dead of multiple gunshots in their car Sunday night in a parking structure at their condominium home near the University of California-Irvine campus. Quan and Lawrence both were standout basketball players while students at Concordia University in Irvine, and Quan was an assistant coach at California State University-Fullerton. Lawrence was a campus police officer at the University of Southern California.
Randy Quan was the first Chinese-American to attain the rank of captain on the LAPD force, the department has said. He later served as chief of police at Cal Poly-Pomona, part of the California State University system.