|Born||Christopher Jordan Dorner
June 4, 1979
New York, U.S.
|Died||February 12, 2013
Angelus Oaks, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Gunshot wound to head (self inflicted)|
|Education||Southern Utah University|
|Murder, attempted murder|
Christopher Jordan Dorner (June 4, 1979 – February 12, 2013) was a former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) police officer and United States Navy Reserve officer who was charged in connection with a series of shooting attacks on police officers and their families from February 3–12, 2013. The attacks left four people dead, including three police officers, and left three police officers wounded. Dorner was the subject of the largest manhunt in LAPD history, spanning two U.S. states and Mexico.
On February 11, 2013, the Riverside District Attorney filed charges against Dorner for the murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of three other officers. The following day, Dorner died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, during a stand-off with police at a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Early life and education
Dorner was born in 1979 in New York State, but grew up in Los Angeles County, California. He attended elementary school at Norwalk Christian School from first to seventh grade. He stated in a published manifesto that he was the only African American student at Norwalk Christian School, where he encountered many racial issues with his peers, and was raised in neighborhoods with scant black populations. He said he was frequently disciplined for being involved with fights with other students in response to the racist name-calling. Dorner attended John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, and Cypress High School in Cypress, where he graduated in 1997. He graduated from Southern Utah University in 2001 with a major in political science and a minor in psychology. The university confirmed that Dorner had played football for at least two of those years. As a running back in the 1999 season, Dorner played 6 games and rushed for 36 yards in 10 carries.
Dorner was a former United States Navy Reserve officer who was honorably discharged as a lieutenant. He was commissioned in 2002, commanded a security unit at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, and served with a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit from June 23, 2004, to February 28, 2006. He was deployed to Bahrain with Coastal Riverine Group Two from November 3, 2006, to April 23, 2007. Dorner was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve on February 1, 2013.
In 2002, Dorner and a classmate found a bag containing nearly $8,000 that belonged to Enid Korean Church of Grace in Enid, Oklahoma. They turned it in to the police. When asked their motive, Dorner said "it's an integrity thing." "The military stresses integrity," Dorner said. "There was a couple of thousand dollars, and if people are willing to give that to a church, it must be pretty important to them." Dorner said his mother taught him honesty and integrity.
Los Angeles Police Department
On July 28, 2007 Dorner and his training officer, fellow police officer Teresa Evans (now a sergeant), went to the Doubletree Hotel in San Pedro regarding a mentally ill man, Christopher Gettler, who was causing a disturbance.
Two weeks later, Evans gave Dorner a performance review that stated he needed to improve in three areas. The next day Dorner filed a report alleging that Evans had used excessive force in her treatment of Christopher Gettler. Dorner accused Evans of twice kicking Gettler in the face while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
An internal review board investigated these claims and listened to the testimony of several witnesses. Christopher Gettler's father, Richard Gettler, testified that after his son had returned home his face was puffy and his son claimed that he was kicked by a police officer. His father didn't report this to the police because the injury was minor and his son was unable to explain why he had been kicked. Christopher Gettler claimed that he had been kicked by a female officer who was "almost black" with dark hair. Evans was described in official documents as white with blond hair. Gettler then partially corrected himself, saying she had light hair. He also thought that his injuries had been caused by a club. Gettler's father said that his son's mental illness prevented him from being a good witness. Gettler has schizophrenia and severe dementia.
Dorner was represented by former Los Angeles police captain Randal Quan and maintained that Evans had kicked Christopher Gettler after handcuffing him.
Three witnesses, including two hotel employees and a port police officer, testified that they did not see Evans kick Christopher Gettler. Evans also denied kicking Christopher Gettler. The port police officer recalled telling Dorner to fix his tie; however, a photograph from the scene showed that Dorner was not wearing a tie.
The board's three members – two LAPD captains and a criminal defense attorney – unanimously ruled against Dorner. They found that his claims lacked credibility and that he was motivated in part by his fear that his training officer would give him a poor evaluation that could end his career. As a result, Dorner's employment was terminated on September 4, 2008.
In 2010 the case was examined by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe who upheld the LAPD's decision to fire Dorner.
Judge David P. Yaffe said he was "uncertain whether the training officer kicked the suspect or not" but nevertheless upheld the department's decision to fire Dorner, according to LA Times. In that case, Dorner could be legally fired for filing a false police report even if the report was true. Dorner appealed his termination by the LAPD Board of Rights by filing a writ of mandamus with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, which upheld the LAPD's action. He then appealed to the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, which affirmed the lower court's ruling on October 3, 2011. Under California law, administrative findings (in this case by the LAPD) are entitled to a presumption of correctness and the petitioner (in this case Dorner) bears the burden of proving that they were incorrect. The appeals court concluded that the LAPD Board of Rights had substantial evidence for its finding that Dorner was not credible in his allegations against Sergeant Evans.
On February 9, 2013, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck ordered a review of the disciplinary case that led to Dorner's dismissal. Chief Beck said officials would re-examine the allegations by Dorner that his law enforcement career was undone by racist colleagues.
Before embarking on a series of revenge shootings and eluding police, Dorner was purported to have posted a detailed communication on his Facebook page in early February 2013, discussing his history, motivations, and plans. This 11,000-word post became known as his "manifesto". KTLA, a Los Angeles television station, published a redacted version of his manifesto. This redacted version elided the names of all parties mentioned in Dorner's post (including notable media figures), making the document difficult to comprehend. Unredacted versions are viewable as well as is an annotated version with acronyms, abbreviations, and terms-of-art.
In the manifesto, Dorner cited his termination despite sworn testimony that such excessive force did occur. He noted that no action was taken against Officer Evans, whom Dorner had accused of exercising excessive force against a prisoner and who accused Dorner of misconduct during a patrol. He demanded a public admission by the LAPD that his firing was in retaliation for reporting excessive force.
Dorner's "Facebook manifesto" began:
"From: Christopher Jordan Dorner
"Subj: Last resort
"I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days," the posting began."Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name. The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse...."
Killings and criminal charges
On February 3, 2013, Monica Quan, 28, and her fiance Keith Lawrence, 27, were found shot to death in an Irvine parking garage. Monica Quan was the daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan who had represented Dorner in the disciplinary case that resulted in Dorner's termination from the LAPD in 2009.
A manhunt began on February 7, and lasted over a week. On February 11 the Riverside District Attorney filed formal charges against Dorner for the murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of three other officers. On February 12 police surrounded a cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, and at the end of the day fired pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the cabin, which set it on fire. Dorner died of a single self-inflicted gun shot to the head. The identification was made through dental records during autopsy. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon says that Dorner died from a single gunshot wound, apparently self-inflicted.
Awards and decorations
Medals and ribbons
Dorner was the recipient of the following military awards:
- Ford, Dana (15 February 2013). "Renegade ex-cop Dorner died from single gunshot to head". CNN. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- "Dorner charged with murder, attempted murder of cops | Indianapolis Star". indystar.com. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "Officials: Remains Found In Burned-Out Cabin Are That Of Christopher Dorner". Losangeles.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "LAPD Dorner". CNN. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- Tomlinson, Simon; Tim Perone; Michael Zennie (2013-02-08). "Killer ex-cop who left three dead in LA shooting spree sends CNN's Anderson Cooper a bullet-riddled coin and manifesto declaring vendetta against police department that fired him". London: Daily Mail UK. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "Dorner manhunt stretches from L.A. to Mexico and beyond". latimes.com (Los Angeles Times). February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Winter, Michael (February 11, 2013). "Dorner charged with murder, attempted murder of cops". USA Today. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Dorner Manhunt: Career woes, perceived racism fuel ex-cop's anger". The Press-Enterprise. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Kelly, Jon (February 16, 2013). "Christopher Dorner: What made a police officer kill?". bbc.co.uk (BBC). Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- "Christopher Dorner's Manifesto, In Full (Content Graphic and Disturbing) – UPDATED". LAist. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- "Anaheim Union HS officials issue statement on Chris Dorner; 'No Danger To Students' cited". loscerritosnews.net. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Southern Utah Univ Overall Individual Statistics". Southern Utah University. November 20, 1999. Archived from the original on January 18, 2000.
- McGregor, Ellen (February 7, 2013) "U.S. Navy Releases Records of Triple Shooting Suspect Christopher Dorner" ABC 10 News
- "Vance students turn in lost church money". Enid News & Eagle. November 5, 2002. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Police say ex-cop was bent on exacting revenge". Los Angeles Times. February 11, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- Rubin, Joel; Leonard, Jack; Linthicum, Kate (February 7, 2013). "Dorner manhunt: conflicting testimony in ex-cop's firing case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Leonard, Jack; Rubin, Joel; Blankstein, Andrew (February 10, 2013). "Dorner's LAPD firing case hinged on credibility". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- February 7, 2013. Manhunt for ex-L.A. cop Christopher Dorner in slaying of basketball coach, fiance. CBS/AP. Retrieved: 16 February 2013.
- "Massive manhunt for fired LAPD officer Christopher Dorner leads to San Bernardino Mountains". Carlsbad Current-Argus. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Leonard, Jack; Rubin, Joel; Blankstein, Andrew (2013-02-10). "Dorner's LAPD firing case hinged on credibility". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Dorner v. Los Angeles Police Department, No. B225674 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2011).
- Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck's Statement on Christopher Jordan Dorner (February 9, 2013)
- Branson-Potts, Hailey; Matt Stevens; Joseph Serna (February 9, 2013). "Dorner". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- LAPD to reopen investigation into fugitive ex-cop's firing. Fox News Channel. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Medina, Jennifer (February 10, 2013). "With Inquiry, an Attempt to Reassure Los Angeles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- Christopher Goffard, Joel Rubin, and Kurt Streeter; Illustrations by Doug Stevens (December 8, 2013). "The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner, Chapter 2: Fear and the City". Los Angeles Times.
- "Christopher Dorner Manifesto". Sites.google.com. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Christopher Goffard, Joel Rubin, and Kurt Streeter; Illustrations by Doug Stevens (December 8, 2013). "The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner, Chapter 1: A Double Killing, a Vengeful Plan, a Wave of Fear". Los Angeles Times.
- Christopher J. Dorner. "Full text of Christopher Dorner's 'Facebook Manifesto'". Google Sites. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 2013.
- "Graphic: Who they were: Victims in the Dorner case - Data Desk - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. February 12, 2013.
- Cabin not purposely burned in firefight; KSBY; February 13, 2013[dead link]
- "Police: Body found in cabin in hunt for Dorner". News.blogs.cnn.com. February 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Sheriff: Ex-cop Dorner died from gunshot to head Associated Press, 15 February 2013
- EndPlay (2013-02-01). "Dorner's Military Service Record; ABC 10 News San Diego; February 7, 2013". 10news.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer". Los Angeles Times
- Christopher Gettler Deposition on YouTube.
- Christopher Dorner at Find a Grave
Various versions of Dorner's purported manifesto:
- Original unredacted version
- Atlanta Daily World version
- Clear Channel version (Archive)
- EurWeb (unredacted) version
- KTLA version
- myFox version
Legal documents in Dorner's lawsuit against LAPD: