Police agencies upped the ante in the hunt for suspected cop killer Christopher Dorner on Sunday, offering a $1 million dollar bounty for his capture - the largest local reward ever offered for a wanted man, Los Angeles officials announced.
The announcement came as Riverside police identified and released funeral details for Michael Crain - the 34-year-old Riverside police office and father of two allegedly ambushed by Dorner on Thursday.
The record reward offer comes a week after Dorner's rampage began. A task force of law enforcement from Los Angeles, Irvine, Riverside, as well as the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, continues to search Southern California and beyond for the former Los Angeles police officer accused of killing three and threatening many more.
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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck looked into dozens of television cameras during a news conference Sunday and warned Dorner: It was not a matter if they catch him, but when.
"Let me be clear," Villaraigosa said, "our dedication to catching this killer remains steadfast. We will not tolerate this reign of terror. We will not tolerate this murderer remaining at large."
Dorner is wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of an Irvine couple and the Riverside police officer. In his lengthy manifesto released last week on Facebook, Dorner said he is purposely targeting police officers and their families as revenge for being unjustly fired from the LAPD five years ago.
Beck said at least 50 LAPD families are being guarded by protection details.
"This is an act and, make no mistake about it, of domestic terrorism," Beck said.
"This is not about capturing a fleeing suspect. This is about preventing a future crime, likely a murder."
He added that as long as Dorner is loose, an attack on a uniformed police officer or the family of a police officer is likely.
Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz noted he is still not releasing the name of the second officer who was shot in order to protect his family.
Dorner, he said, "has already shown and stated that families of police officers are fair game and for that reason to this point we have not released that information."
But Diaz said the officer will survive the shooting to his upper body, although challenges remain.
"The other officer ...is looking at many surgeries," Diaz said. "There are still medical complications."
The reward, likely to surpass a $1 million, is made up by contributions by more than 30 private and public donors, including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino counties, the Long Beach Police Officers Association, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Anschutz Entertainment Group, and many anonymous donors.
The search for Dorner continued to stretch police resources and keep Southern Californians on edge.
A San Bernardino apartment building was evacuated after someone called in a false report of a Dorner sighting. And Los Angeles police - already split between the manhunt and providing security at the Grammy awards ceremony at L.A. Live downtown - closed an area near Northridge Fashion Mall after reports of a man resembling Dorner was seen.
In Big Bear, where Dorner's disabled truck was found loaded with weapons and survival gear Thursday morning, the size of the search team was cut to two dozen from to 125 the first day. A law enforcement command post at Bear Mountain ski resort was dismantled, with efforts now coordinated from the Big Bear sheriff's station.
"The search continues to locate Christopher Dorner in the Big Bear area with approximately 25 officers on the ground and a helicopter providing aerial support," San Bernardino sheriff's officials said in a written statement.
"As the number of cabins, rentals and unoccupied/vacation homes diminishes, the amount of personnel and resources needed has been scaled back accordingly. Although there have been no reported sightings and officers have found no new evidence that points to a location in the Big Bear area, the Sheriff's Department remains committed to the public's safety."
The force has been reduced because there is a smaller area left to be searched, not because authorities believe Dorner is not in the mountain area, said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the sheriff's department.
Temperatures dropped to 5 degrees in Big Bear Lake over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration warned all airports to be on the look-out for Dorner, who may have flight experience.
"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," according to the TSA alert.
Dorner's rampage began a week ago in Irvine, where he is accused of fatally shooting Monica Quan and her finance. Quan's father is a former LAPD captain who had represented Dorner during the proceedings that led to his termination. Department officials said Dorner had lied when he accused his training officer of kicking a suspect during an arrest.
On Wednesday night, just hours after authorities identified Dorner as a suspect in the double murder, police believe Dorner shot and grazed in LAPD officer in Corona and then used a rifle to ambush two Riverside police officers, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
Dorner, 33, of La Palma, claimed in an 11,000-word manifesto first posted on his Facebook page that his career was undone by racist colleagues. The document vowed revenge against several other officers he held responsible for his firing in 2008. Dorner also suggested in his manifesto that he supported gay rights and gun control.
"The Violence of action will be HIGH," Dorner writes on his manifesto. "I am the reason TAC alert was established. I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty ...
You will now live the life of prey."
Experts who reviewed the manifesto on Thursday said the statements showed a "trifecta of intelligence, mental illness and paranoia."
In the meantime, Donor has led law enforcement across Southern California, from San Diego to Torrance to the Big Bear area, where on Thursday, Dorner's Nissan pickup truck was found burning on a rugged fire access road. Officials said Saturday they'd determined that the axle had snapped, and that he'd set the vehicle ablaze. Inside the burned-out truck, authorities said, they found an arsenal of weapons.
Beck said the Big Bear area remained the last place Dorner was known to be.
He said police are checking on every lead.
But while the hunt for Dorner has centered near Big Bear, other agencies have been looking for clues into his life and how long he may have been planning his rampage.
On Friday, officers served a warrant at a house in La Palma that is owned by Dorner's mother and collected 10 bags of evidence. Police also collected evidence from a Buena Park storage unit, but refused to say what they'd found.
In addition to his training with the LAPD, Dorner also received specialized training as a Navy reservist, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records.
He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007. An LAPD newsletter has carried a photo of Dorner with then-Chief Bill Bratton, who gave him a gold coin as a souvenir.
Feb. 1 was Dorner's last day with the Navy, which may have triggered his rampage, experts in mental health said.
Beck, meanwhile, said he would review Dorner's case because he wants the public's perception of the LAPD to be positive.
"If there is anything true to what he said, we'll deal with it," Beck said.
Asked by several reporters if police wanted Dorner dead or alive, Beck shook his head.
"That's a real rude term," he said. "I sincerely hope, deep down, we capture him alive, to bring him to court. If he's watching this, I'd say to Mr. Dorner to surrender. End this nightmare."
Anyone with information on Dorner's whereabouts was asked to contact the task force at 213-486-6860. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by calling L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
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