EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

February 10, 2013

Clear sky aids mountain hunt for fugitive ex-cop

(Continued)

The search once included 125 officers but that number was reduced to 50 on Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

Officers have been going door to door examining hundreds of vacant cabins, aware that they could be walking into a trap set by the well-trained former Navy reservist who knows their tactics and strategies.

“Christopher Dorner is probably one of the most dangerous fugitives that law enforcement has gone after in recent times,” said Clint Van Zandt, former supervisor of FBI’s profiling unit. “The challenge is, with his law enforcement and military background, he’s very competent with weapons.”

Sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay, who began his patrol at 5 a.m. Saturday, said the operation was both massive and tactically complex.

“This one you just never know if the guy’s going to pop out, or where he’s going to pop out. We’re hoping this comes to a close without more casualties. The best thing would be for him to give up,” MacKay said.

On Friday night, authorities served a search warrant and collected evidence from a Buena Park storage unit as part of their investigation. Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the evidence or say who had rented the unit. Earlier Friday, another warrant was served at a La Palma house belonging to Dorner’s mother. Officers collected 10 bags of evidence, including five electronic items.

Police said officers still were guarding more than 40 people mentioned as targets in a rant that authorities said Dorner posted on Facebook. He vowed to use “every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance and survival training I’ve been given” to bring “warfare” to the LAPD and its families.

Dorner served in the Navy, 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.

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