Record US$1 million reward posted for fugitive former Los Angeles cop
By Brandon Lowrey, ReutersLOS ANGELES--A record US$1 million reward was posted on Sunday for information leading to the capture of a fugitive former Los Angeles policeman suspected of targeting police officers and their families in three killings committed in retaliation for his 2008 firing.
February 12, 2013, 3:45 am TWN
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said the reward, raised from private donations, police unions, businesses and city and county governments, marks the largest sum ever offered in Southern California in a criminal investigation.
The reward was posted as law enforcement agencies across the region pressed on for a fourth day in their search for the suspect, ex-LAPD officer and U.S. Navy reservist Christopher Dorner, 33. Beck described it as the most extensive manhunt ever mounted in the Los Angeles area.
He called the spate of revenge-driven violence Dorner is accused of committing “an act of domestic terrorism.”
“This is a man who has targeted those who we entrust to protect the public. His actions cannot go unanswered,” Beck said.
At a news conference, Beck said investigators were making progress but he declined to elaborate, saying they presumed that if Dorner is still alive, he would be following media coverage of the manhunt closely.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa added, “Our dedication to catching this killer remains steadfast, our confidence in bringing him to justice remains unshaken.”
The search for Dorner has been focused in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains northeast of Los Angeles since a pickup truck belonging to Dorner was found abandoned and burning near the popular ski resort community of Big Bear Lake on Thursday.
Police throughout the region also have chased down numerous unconfirmed sightings and dead-end leads.
One of the latest of those, prompted by calls from two individuals reporting they had seen someone resembling Dorner, led police on Sunday to a hardware store in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley community of Northridge.
The store was evacuated and searched, but no evidence of Dorner's presence was uncovered, police said.
His last confirmed encounters with authorities came early on Thursday in two Riverside County towns east of Los Angeles, police said. He is accused of exchanging gunfire with a pair of police officers in Corona, injuring one, and later ambushing two policemen at a stoplight in Riverside. One of those officers was killed, the other wounded.