Dorner manhunt: ‘We’re all breathing a sigh of relief,’ Villaraigosa says
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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday he felt no sympathy for Christopher Dorner — only relief a hide-and-seek battle with the fugitive ex-cop seemed to be over.
Hours after investigators began the process of identifying human remains found in a charred Big Bear cabin where Dorner was believed to be hiding, Villaraigosa told KTLA-TV he was relieved when he heard the hunt for Dorner could be over.
‘You don’t kill innocent people in cold blood,’ Villaraigosa said. ‘This was an abomination and a reign of terror.’
If the body is identified as Dorner’s, the standoff would end a weeklong manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant suspected in a string of shootings following his firing by the Los Angeles Police Department several years ago. Four people have died in the case, allegedly at Dorner’s hands.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he would not consider the manhunt over until the body was identified as Dorner. Police remained on tactical alert Wednesday.
Villaraigosa expressed sorrow for the families of Dorner’s alleged victims: Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach; her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a safety officer at USC; Riverside officer Michael Crain, 34; and an officer killed in Tuesday’s shootout who has not been identified.
‘I want to focus on the families, on the officers who have been terrorized,’ Villaraigosa told KTLA. ‘Their kids can’t go to school. They can’t leave their houses.’
According to a manifesto officials say Dorner posted on Facebook, he felt the LAPD unjustly fired him several years ago, when a disciplinary panel determined he lied in accusing his training officer of kicking a mentally ill man during an arrest. Villaraigosa said the case will be reviewed, something Beck has also promised.
The manifesto vows ‘unconventional and asymmetrical warfare’ against law enforcement officers and their families.
The cost of the manhunt will be in the millions, Villaraigosa said. He said he and Beck agreed to ‘spare no expense.’ Costs will include tactical alerts and overtime pay for law enforcement officials, as well as the possibility of paying out a reward of more than $1 million offered for information leading to Dorner’s arrest.
“If someone’s earned it, they’ll get it,’ Villaraigosa said.
Villaraigosa doesn’t know who will qualify for the reward, he said. It isn’t clear, Villaraigosa said, whether the two cleaning service workers who discovered Dorner in a cabin in Big Bear on Tuesday afternoon could receive the reward. After Dorner tied the workers up and stole their car, authorities said, one broke free and called police.
“I think we’re all breathing a sigh of relief that we think he will no longer engage in this reign of terror,’ Villaraigosa said.
-- Laura J. Nelson (twitter.com/laura_nelson), Andrew Blankstein and Phil Willon