Christopher Dorner has monopolized the news lately. He’s been affectionately called a ‘cop-killer’ and a domestic terrorist, and although the media has spent plenty of time addressing his story, much of his life is still shrouded in mystery. His actions have inspired a game and some public support. Dorner’s story is intriguing and deserves a second look.
In the navy, Dorner served as a lieutenant until February 1, 2013, when he was honorably discharged. He was deployed to Bahrain from November, 2006, to April, 2007. It is interesting to note that while in the Navy, Dorner and another student found an envelope containing almost $8,000 that belonged to a local church. The pair took the envelope to the police.*
In the LAPD, Dorner completed police academy training in 2006. On July 28, 2007, Dorner and a fellow officer went to a hotel in San Pedro to address a disturbance caused by a mentally ill man. A few weeks later, Dorner filed a report that stated his fellow officer had used excessive force while arresting the man.* An internal investigation followed, which ruled against Dorner and as a result, he was terminated on September 4, 2008.
The Life of an Outlaw
On February 3rd, Dorner killed Monica Quan and her fiance, outside of their home in Irvine. Monica Quan was the daughter of Randal Quan, a former LAPD captain. He was also the lawyer who represented Dorner during Dorner’s investigation, which led to his termination from the LAPD. Dorner expressed his motive for this killing and much more in his manifesto, available here.
On February 7th, two officers were ambushed while waiting at a red light in their marked car. One officer died soon after. The other was rushed to a hospital and survived*. On the same day, police open fired on three suspects unrelated to Dorner, inflicting bullet wounds on two innocent women delivering newspapers* and injuring one man in a car crash*.
Dorner’s Last Stand
On February 12th, Dorner hijacked a car which, when spotted by police, led to a gunfight. Dorner shot two cops who were airlifted to a local hospital, where only one survived. Dorner then barricaded himself in a cabin in the San Bernardino mountains, not far from the LAPD’s command center.
The cabin started on fire and not long after a gunshot was heard. Presumably, Dorner shot himself. The LAPD claims they did not intentionally start the fire, but that it may have been started by the pyrotechnic tear gas they used.*
Recordings from the police scanner definitely make it seem like the fire was intentional.
After rummaging through the burnt wreckage of the cabin, a wallet was found with Dorner’s ID in it, along with a body later identified as Dorner’s.
Both the LAPD and Dorner are guilty here. The LAPD fired Dorner for reporting an act of excessive force. While conducting a manhunt for Dorner, they shot two innocent women and crashed into another man’s car, who also would have been shot if the deputies had better aim. Dorner killed four people and injured two more. There’s no way to defend either of there cases. The LAPD is corrupt and incompetant. Christopher Dorner was capable and angry. Dorner was quiet and calculating, but not mentally ill. Dorner was a man with a strong character and a taste for vengeance. The LAPD pissed off the wrong guy, and they paid for it, dearly. After reading Dorner’s manifesto and story, it’s hard not to feel bad for the guy.
“Hero” isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word to come to mind.