Search for ex-LA cop slows border traffic

Border

Search for ex-LA cop slows border traffic

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (AP) - U.S. border inspectors are warning of unusually heavy traffic at California border crossings into Mexico amid the search for a fugitive ex-police officer wanted in the slayings of three people.

Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it has joined efforts to find 33-year-old Christopher Dorner in Southern California. Heightened vehicle inspections are producing delays at San Diego's San Ysidro (ee-SEE'-droh) border crossing into Tijuana.

Baja California state police agents assigned to search for American fugitives have been given photographs of Dorner. International liaison Alfredo Arenas says the Mexican agents have been warned to consider the suspect armed and extremely dangerous.

Dorner was charged Monday with murdering a police officer and attempting to murder three others in Riverside County.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer was charged Monday with murdering a Riverside police officer and special circumstances that could bring the death penalty.

Christopher Dorner was also charged with the attempted murder of another Riverside officer and two Los Angeles Police Department officers, Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said.

The LAPD officers and the Riverside officers were fired on in two separate shootings early Thursday after Dorner became the target of a manhunt suspected of killing a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiance the previous weekend.

"By both his words and conduct, he has made very clear to us that every law enforcement officer in Southern California is in danger of being shot and killed," Zellerbach said.

Authorities obtained a no-bail arrest warrant, which allows Dorner to be apprehended anywhere, Zellerbach said.

Southern California authorities were investigating more than 600 tips after offering a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's arrest.

"We need the community's help in this, there's a lot more of you than there are of us," said LAPD Deputy Chief Jose Perez.

The manhunt for Dorner, 33, has left the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department stretched thin.

Along with responding to routine calls for service, police have been protecting dozens of families considered possible targets of Dorner, based on his alleged Facebook rant against those he held responsible for ending his career with the LAPD five years ago.

Police and city officials believe the reward, raised from both public and private sources, will encourage the public to stay vigilant.

"Now it's like the game show `Who Wants to be a Millionaire,'" said Anthony Burke, supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals regional fugitive taskforce. "Instead of one contestant, we've got 100,000, and there's only one question you have to answer. All they have to answer is where he's at, and we can take it from there."

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck deflected questions about whether the reward would be paid if Dorner was found dead or alive. He called the phrase "ugly" and said he hoped no one else was injured in the ordeal, including the suspect.

As the search dragged on, worrisome questions emerged: How long could the intense search be sustained? And, if Dorner keeps evading capture, how do authorities protect dozens of former police colleagues?

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department has deployed 50 protection details to guard officers and their families who were deemed possible targets.

And there are no plans to reduce protection until Dorner is in custody, Los Angeles police Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.

"We realize it costs money and it gets expensive," said Chuck Drago, a Florida-based police consultant. "But this is as clear of a threat as you can get. The money is always an issue but not when it's somebody's life at stake."

One tip led police to surround and evacuate a Lowe's Home Improvement store on Sunday in the San Fernando Valley, but a search yielded no evidence that Dorner had been there.

Residents remained on edge in suburban Irvine, where the first two killings occurred. Some residents have kept their children at home, others no longer walk their dogs at night.

"If he did come around this corner, what could happen? We're in the crossfire, with the cops right there," said Irvine resident Joe Palacio, who lives down the street from the home of retired police Capt. Randal Quan, who is being protected.

"I do think about where I would put my family," he said. "Would we call 911? Would we hide in the closet?"

Monica Quan and her fiance were found shot dead on Feb. 3 in Irvine. Dorner was named as the suspect on Wednesday.

A federal agent who requested anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said officials had determined a call telling Randal Quan that he should have done a better job of protecting his daughter was a prank.

The violence escalated Thursday, when police say Dorner got into a shootout with police in Corona, grazing an LAPD officer's head with a bullet before escaping. Authorities believe Dorner then used a rifle to ambush the two Riverside police officers, killing one and seriously wounding another.

Until Sunday, police had withheld the names of victims, fearing Dorner might target their families. But Riverside police said the officer killed was Michael Crain, 34, an ex-Marine and 11-year department veteran.

Officials decided to proceed with the identification and public memorial despite the possible dangers, Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz said.

"We're not going to fail our officer and our hero," Diaz said. "We're going to bury him."

In Torrance, a pickup truck was peppered with police bullets during the manhunt, prompting a lawyer for the driver to accuse officers of being reckless.

Surfer Dan Perdue was driving to the beach Thursday when his Honda Ridgeline was stopped by officers guarding the home of a law enforcement official.

After driving away, the Ridgeline was hit by a squad car. It spun around and officers began shooting.

Perdue wasn't wounded, his attorney Robert Sheahen told the Daily Breeze of Torrance.

A police statement said officers took appropriate action as Perdue's truck, which resembled the Nissan Titan of Dorner, was leaving the area.

Late last week, the manhunt focused on Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains, where authorities found Dorner's burned-out truck with weapons and camping gear inside.

Authorities searched there for the fifth day on Monday, using helicopters equipped with heat-sensing technology.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 6 injured as car jumps curb near Stanford

    6 injured as car jumps curb near Stanford

    Police in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Palo Alto say six people were injured, one critically, when a car jumped a curb outside a cafe.More >>
    Police say a man in his 90s drove on to a busy sidewalk near Stanford University, hitting five pedestrians and leaving one of them with major injuries.More >>
  • Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Father time reared his head

    Father time reared his head

    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
  • Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    YUMA, AZ- Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man. Regina Garcia went before Judge Gregory Stewart in Yuma Justice Court Thursday afternoon.More >>
    Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man.More >>
  • 13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
  • Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
  • Yuma

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    YUMA, AZ - Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez. 35-year old Rachel Spry nowMore >>
    Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez.More >>