Dorner manhunt: Border security bolstered, airports alerted by TSA
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
Authorities continued to keep extra eyes on the border and skies Monday as wanted ex-police officer Christopher Dorner evaded authorities.
The multi-agency manhunt for the former Los Angeles police officer and Navy veteran has prompted state alerts in both California and Nevada as the search stretched into another day. Dorner, described as ‘armed and extremely dangerous,’ is suspected of fatally shooting three people and wounding two others, and allegedly threatened police in what authorities believe to be an online manifesto that he posted.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry continued to monitor all southbound lanes into Mexico, creating hours-long delays during peak crossing times. Agents were also stationed at all pedestrian crossings into Tijuana, said Angelica De Cima, a Customs spokesperson.
Mexican authorities have also bolstered security at the ports of entry and notified local, state and federal police to be on the lookout for Dorner, though there’s no evidence he has slipped into their territory.
‘They’re pretty sure he’s still in California somewhere,’ said Alfredo Arenas, chief international liaison officer for the Baja California state police. ‘They don’t think he had a chance to cross.’
The Transportation Security Administration has also urged pilots and aircraft operators to be alert and watch for stolen planes or suspicious passengers.
‘It is believed that Dorner received flight training during his time in the U.S. Navy, but the extent
of his potential flying skills is unknown,’ a notification read.
‘While there is no specific information at this time that Dorner is considering using general aviation, TSA requests that operators use an increased level of awareness concerning any suspicious activity during the coming days.’
Dorner’s alleged shootings began Feb. 3 with the deaths of Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain whom Dorner apparently accused online of not representing him fairly at a hearing on his firing. In what police said was his posting to Facebook, Dorner allegedly threatened the retired captain and others he blamed for his firing.
More that 50 LAPD families remained under police guard Monday.
While on the run early Thursday, Dorner allegedly shot three police officers in Corona and Riverside, killing Riverside Officer Michael Crain, 34, a married father who served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the U.S. Marines. Hundreds of officers have chased clues about Dorner across Southern California in recent days, responding to possible sightings in San Diego, Big Bear and elsewhere and serving warrants at homes in La Palma and Las Vegas.
The search centered on Big Bear after Dorner’s burning truck was found on a forest road on Thursday, and included cabin-by-cabin checks for any sign of Dorner. A scaled-back search continued Monday morning with about 30 officers searching vacation homes and cabins in ‘an even more remote area,’ the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said. There had been ‘no reported sightings’ and no new evidence linked to the fugitive ex-cop in the area, officials said. A tip that Dorner might have been seen in San Bernardino early Sunday forced the evacuation of an apartment complex but proved to be a false alarm.
So did a reported sighting later that day at a Northridge Lowe’s, prompting an evacuation of the store as police looked for Dorner. A law enforcement source later said the call to the Lowe’s might have been related to a couple fighting outside the store.
Los Angeles officials announced Sunday a $1-million reward for information leading to the capture and arrest of Dorner. The reward — raised from local governments, police departments, civic organizations, businesses and individuals — is thought to be the largest ever offered locally.
Investigators were already following up on more than 600 tips, LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said Monday morning.
‘Our commitment is to finding Mr. Dorner and making this city safe again,’ Neiman said.
— Kate Mather and Richard Marosi