Killing Spree: Christopher Dorner, Revenge Cop Killer

View Segments Segment :

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Embed
  • Link
  • Help
  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Embed
  • Link
  • Help
Successfully saved clip
Find all your clips in My Lists
Failed to save clip
  • Transcript
  • Transcript

    Auto-Scroll: ONOFF 
    • 00:00

      [MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:06

      NARRATOR: In 2013, a killing spreewould unfold in California--

    • 00:11

      ANDREW TACHIAS: Officer shot multiple times!

    • 00:13

      NARRATOR: --that would grip the United States--

    • 00:15

      NEWSCASTER: Deputies say the killer could be anywhere.

    • 00:19

      NARRATOR: --and grab headlines across the globe.

    • 00:21

      CHARLIE BECK: The man who did this was a monster.

    • 00:24

      NARRATOR: Targeting his former employers at the LAPD--

    • 00:28

      MIKE MEDICI: He was willing to do anythingto kill police officers and their families and to get away.

    • 00:34

      NARRATOR: --ex-cop Christopher Dornerwould embark on a vigilante mission for vengeance.

    • 00:40

      SPEAKER 1: He held a pistol out the windowand fired multiple shots.

    • 00:43

      NARRATOR: As the clock ticked, the body count rose--

    • 00:47

      JACK CHILSON: The truck had a window down, assault rifle outof it, and he started shooting.

    • 00:52

      OFFICER: Another officer down.

    • 00:54

      NARRATOR: --and with it the question,what could have provoked Christopher Dorner to commithis killing spree?

    • 00:60

      JACK LEVIN: He was going to get eventhrough the barrel of a gun.[THEME MUSIC]

    • 01:32

      NARRATOR: Surrounded by the vast wilderness of the SanBernardino National Forest, the tranquil mountain townof Big Bear is one of Southern California's mostpopular tourist destinations.

    • 01:46

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: Big Bear is a great little mountain town.

    • 01:53

      SERGIO DIAZ: Big Bear and its environs, its neighbors,are a huge pine forest, essentially.[Sergio Diaz, Chief of Police, Riverside PD]

    • 01:59

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: We're out in the wilderness, kind of.[Rick Heltebrake, Local Resident]I mean, so that's what people like here.

    • 02:11

      NARRATOR: Yet, on February the 12th, 2013,at the height of the normally bustling skiseason, the atmosphere and peace of this picturesque resortwas shattered.

    • 02:22

      NEWSCASTER: A manhunt underway right now for a former LosAngeles police officer accused of murdering three people.

    • 02:30

      NARRATOR: Law enforcement authoritiesfrom across the state had descended on the tranquil areaas they sought a spree killer on the run.

    • 02:38

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: We were all on edge,and we're all keeping weapons by the door.People were taking precautions.

    • 02:47

      NARRATOR: The lone gunman had left a trail of carnageacross California's cityscape before hiding outin the mountains.Christopher Dorner was now the most wanted man in America.

    • 02:59

      SPEAKER 2: There is a possibility that he's out here,and that's why we're out here searching

    • 03:06

      SERGIO DIAZ: The search involved every level of law enforcementin the United States.

    • 03:12

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: I would say thousandsof police officers were involved.[Paul Zellerbach, District Attorney, Riverside]

    • 03:18

      CHARLIE BECK: You know, this was one of the largest deploymentsof policing agencies in my memory.[Charlie Beck, Chief of Police, LAPD]

    • 03:24

      NARRATOR: The threat posed by Dorner was palpable.

    • 03:27

      JIM SIMONS: Any police officer thattried to arrest him or contact him would be a target.[Jim Simons, Detective, Riverside PD]

    • 03:35

      NARRATOR: And apprehending him wouldbe a challenge for detectives that had little precedent.

    • 03:42

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: Mr. Dorner's military training, his policetraining, the type and nature of weaponsthat we knew that he had in his possession,heightened our concerns.We didn't get much sleep during that period of time.

    • 03:58

      NARRATOR: After several days spent scouring the mountains,it was believed that the elusive killer mayhave slipped the net.

    • 04:07

      SERGIO DIAZ: He went to ground, didn't leave any he-- whatwe'd call a heat signature.You couldn't find him.

    • 04:16

      NARRATOR: However, in the early afternoonof the 12th of February, Dorner broke coverand was reported to police, sparking fresh lifeinto the sprawling search efforts.

    • 04:28

      OFFICER: Lock down the mountain.

    • 04:30

      JIM SIMONS: We heard the broadcast over the radiothat Dorner had been sighted.

    • 04:36

      MIKE MEDICI: Threw our raid vests on and we justheaded out. [Mike Medici, Detective, Riverside PD]

    • 04:41

      JIM SIMONS: We knew that he had already killed multiple people.The first thing that was going through my mindis if we do find him, we were goingto be involved in a shooting with him.

    • 04:51

      MIKE MEDICI: Dorner was not rational.He was unpredictable, willing to do anything to get away.There was no question, at least in my mind,that this was going to end in more killing.

    • 05:14

      NARRATOR: Local scout camp leader, Rick Heltebrake,was on the mountain that day, unaware of the drama thatwas beginning to unfold.

    • 05:22

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: I came down the road.I'm just checking the perimeter, as I call it.All this, right-- as you see, is all my property--all this stuff.So I'm checking to make sure nobody's down here-- no snowflares, no vehicles-- basically just doing a security check.So I'm driving up here just minding my own business,a day like any other day.

    • 05:43

      RICK HELTEBRAKE [continued]: Roughly about in here someplace, I see movementup here on the left.I don't know what it is.And right about in here, I see a crashed car.

    • 06:03

      NARRATOR: At around 12:45 PM, Rickwould lay eyes on the man who wasthe subject of one of the nation's largest ever manhunts.

    • 06:13

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: Within a split second or so,seemingly, I came up, and Christopher Dornercame out of the snow bank at me with a rifle pointed at me.

    • 06:29

      NARRATOR: In 1979, 34 years prior to his ruthless spree,Christopher Dorner and his family moved from New Yorkto the middle class neighborhood of Norwalkin Southern California.

    • 06:43

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: He was raised in a middle-income society, nota ghetto.His family wasn't tremendously poor.

    • 06:51

      NARRATOR: Despite his tranquil suburban surroundings,from an early age, Dorner would develop the sensethat the world was against him.

    • 06:60

      JAMES USERA: I remember him telling me that he was the onlyAfrican-American child in his class or in his neighborhood.[James Usera, Former Friend] He would regularly get beat upafter school.There were other bullies in the neighborhoodwho would give him a hard time.To hear him tell it, it was racially motivated.

    • 07:20

      NARRATOR: At college, friends recall Dorneras outgoing and well-educated.

    • 07:26

      JAMES USERA: I met Chris Dorner in college.He and I played football together.He was clean cut, articulate, pretty easy to get along with.He was approachable, good sense of humor.He wasn't somebody who was serious all the time.He'd laugh and smile, and he was normal.I mean, he was a normal 19-year-old, 20-year-old guy.

    • 07:49

      NARRATOR: However, Dorner's habitof painting himself as a victim of prejudice would continue.

    • 07:55

      JAMES USERA: He was very conscious of howpeople treated him.I don't think that he was all that thrilled about our coacheson the football team.He commented to me that he thought that particular coachwas racist.

    • 08:14

      NARRATOR: Dorner's problems with authoritywould continue after college.Having spent time enlisted in the Navy Reserves,his tendency to blame others was againnoted when he joined the LAPD.

    • 08:30

      CHARLIE BECK: In his short time at the LAPD,Christopher Dorner was the center of a lot of controversy.He made several complaints against other officers.He saw everything that happened to himthat wasn't to his liking as a consequence of his raceor some overall scheme against him.

    • 08:51

      CHARLIE BECK [continued]: He was a troubled man.

    • 08:54

      NARRATOR: Christopher Dorner's festering resentmentwould eventually overwhelm him, and extreme violence wouldbe the tragic consequence.[THEME MUSIC]

    • 09:14

      NARRATOR: In 2013, Christopher Dornerwould perpetrate a killing spree that would leave Californiaparalyzed by fear.

    • 09:23

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: Law enforcement throughout Southern Californiais heightened, and aware, and concerned, and scared,because any one of them could have been his next target.[Paul Zellerbach, District Attorney, Riverside]

    • 09:33

      NARRATOR: The former LAPD man would turn fugitiveand orchestrate a campaign of murder thatwould draw international attentionand spark a massive manhunt.

    • 09:44

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: I think at one point in time,the rewards throughout Southern California for his apprehensionamounted to over a million and a half dollars.

    • 09:54

      NARRATOR: The extraordinary spreewould begin in puzzling circumstances.The 3rd of February, 2013, 7:30 PM.The city of Irvine, 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.27-year-old Monica Quan and her fiance Keith Lawrence

    • 10:17

      NARRATOR [continued]: were found slain in the parking lot of their apartmentbuilding.

    • 10:25

      CHARLIE BECK: She was a coach in the school systemand a very well-respected individual in the community.She was engaged to Keith Lawrence.The man who did this was a monster.

    • 10:42

      NARRATOR: Initially, the motivationfor this predatory crime seemed difficult to determine.

    • 10:47

      CHARLIE BECK: Irvine Police Departmentwere stunned by the randomness of the selection of victimsin this crime.They are young people with no enemies,no connection to crime, no history of violence.And so, detectives were at a loss.

    • 11:06

      REPORTER: With police on tactical alertacross this region tonight, men and women in uniform,as well as the community, are remembering Monica Quan.A heartbreaking day as police search for a killer.

    • 11:18

      NARRATOR: However, in the early hours of the 4th of February,Christopher Dorner would not onlyclaim responsibility for the killings,but announce his plans to continue his spreeby targeting police officers.Holed up in an unassuming motel, Dornerposted a multi-page manifesto online.

    • 11:41

      NARRATOR [continued]: Upon discovery of the sprawling document,police began their investigation.

    • 11:47

      SPEAKER 3: Today, we have identified Christopher JordanDorner as a suspect in this double homicide.

    • 11:53

      NARRATOR: The manifesto outlined his motives--

    • 11:55

      NEWSCASTER: In this rambling manifestoposted on Dorner's Facebook page, he details everything.

    • 12:01

      NARRATOR: --and made clear his grievances with the LAPD.

    • 12:04

      CHARLIE BECK: Christopher Dorner hada troubled history with the Los Angeles Police Department.On his probationary period, his training officercounseled him about his performance.Soon after that, he made allegations of excessive forceagainst her during an arrest.Those allegations were not supported by witnesses or fact.

    • 12:25

      CHARLIE BECK [continued]: And because of that, charges were soonapplied against Dorner, and he wasterminated from the Los Angeles Police Departmentfor being untruthful.

    • 12:39

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: He felt that because of his racein law enforcement, that that affectedhis professional career in a detrimental way.

    • 12:49

      CHARLIE BECK: He was an injustice collector.He was a person that believed that nothingthat ever happened to him was as a result of his own doing.

    • 12:58

      CRAIG JACKSON: The worst thing about these setbacksfor him were, because he was a narcissist,it was stripping him of everything that he held true.[Prof Craig Jackson, Criminal Psychologist]His identity, his service record,you take that away from the narcissist, the outer trappingsof success, then there's nothing left for him to have.

    • 13:15

      JACK LEVIN: Vengence is a very powerful motivation in spreekilling. [Prof Jack Levin, Criminologist]We see their victims, they see villains.And so they want to get even through the barrel of a gun.

    • 13:32

      NARRATOR: Further reading of this sprawling documentwould uncover Dorner's twisted logicbehind classifying Monica Quan as a legitimate targetfor his vengeance.

    • 13:42

      CHARLIE BECK: Monica Quan is the daughterof Randy Quan, an LAPD captain, and the individualwho had represented him-- not prosecuted him, representedhim-- at his administrative hearing, during which hewas terminated, fired from the Los Angeles Police Department.Dorner decided to pick them as his avenue for revenge.

    • 14:04

      NARRATOR: The circumstances of the young couple's deathswould give investigators a chilling insightinto the cold blooded mind of Christopher Dorner.

    • 14:13

      CHARLIE BECK: Appears that it was an ambush.Multiple rounds were fired.I doubt that either of them had any time to know whator who was happened.

    • 14:23

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: They were caught very off guardand basically slaughtered, executed.

    • 14:29

      CHARLIE BECK: The victims had no opportunityto escape or respond-- that it was calculated.This was a crime of great brutality.

    • 14:45

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: He claimed he was not doneand that he was still going to go after other law enforcementofficers.

    • 14:54

      NARRATOR: The unique threat posedby doing his military training and knowledge of police tacticshad officers on edge.

    • 15:01

      MIKE MEDICI: When Christopher Dorner went on his rampage,every law enforcement agency around was aware of him.[Mike Medici, Detective, Riverside PD]We were all on high alert.

    • 15:12

      JIM SIMONS: He had specialized training with weapons.[Jim Simons, Detective, Riverside PD]He's aware of law enforcement's routines.

    • 15:21

      NARRATOR: As the investigation continued,CCTV footage emerged of Dorner dumping weaponsin the aftermath of the Quan and Lawrence murders.Staying one step ahead of the police,Dorner turned the tables on his pursuers,and the hunters would now become the hunted.The 7th of February, 2013, 1:45 AM.

    • 15:48

      NARRATOR [continued]: Riverside City, California.Cab driver Karam Kaoud was working the night shift.

    • 15:58

      KARAM KAOUD: Normal evening-- was not that busy--just normal. [Karam Kaoud, Taxi Driver]I'm at the stop sign.--like, a gray to blue truck.This guy, he runs a red light.And the same moment when I was thinking about this,I saw the police officer.

    • 16:23

      KARAM KAOUD [continued]: I saw a truck pulling up next to the police.There is a car between them.

    • 16:30

      NARRATOR: In that car was Jack Chilson,a local resident who was also in the area.

    • 16:35

      JACK CHILSON: And that particular nightwhen I was on my way home, I was at a red light,and when I looked to my right, therewas a police officer that pulled up in a squad car.

    • 16:44

      NARRATOR: Riverside officers, Michael Crainand Andrew Tachias, were out working a routine late nightpatrol.

    • 16:50

      SERGIO DIAZ: Mike Crain was a remarkable police officer.[Sergio Diaz, Chief of Police, Riverside PD]He had about 11 years of service.In his personal life, he was the father of two children.Andy Tachias was a new officer to the Riverside PoliceDepartment.

    • 17:09

      NARRATOR: Karam, Jack, and officersCrain and Tachias were about to become embroiledin the burgeoning spree.

    • 17:21

      JACK CHILSON: The officers and I were looking at each other.And then I seen something on peripheral visionon my left-hand side.I seen a large, black male in a truck with an assault rifleout his driver's window, resting on the window.And he started shooting.

    • 17:41

      JACK CHILSON [continued]: I'm looking to my left, watching him shooting acrossmy hood into the driver's window-- sidewindow-- of the police officers' squad car.

    • 17:53

      NARRATOR: Opening fire on Crain and Tachias,Dorner would not discriminate when itcame to dispatching violence.

    • 18:02

      JACK CHILSON: He had safety goggles onand he had a grin on his face.It was like he was happy.He didn't feel sorry or anything.First of all, it's not believing what's happening.I couldn't believe it.The driver slumped forward.That's all I seen.I never seen a passenger.After he shot the police officers, he just left.

    • 18:23

      JACK CHILSON [continued]: He didn't peel out.Like nothing ever happened-- no speeding,no nothing-- like he was going home, no emotion.

    • 18:34

      NARRATOR: With the officers helpless,their patrol car strafed with bullets, taxi driver Karamcame to their aid.

    • 18:42

      KARAM KAOUD: My feeling was-- at that moment,you don't have those feelings, you just act.I left my car and went to them.I saw the [INAUDIBLE] police officer sitting upand Officer Tachias, the wounded one, he barely can move.

    • 19:04

      KARAM KAOUD [continued]: And I told him, "What should I do?What should I do?"So he told me, "The radio, the radio."So I put it up and press the buttonand grab it to his mouth, and he started to call.

    • 19:17

      ANDREW TACHIAS: Officer shot multiple times!

    • 19:19

      KARAM KAOUD: He cannot move.He cannot even grab the radio, he was wounded so bad.

    • 19:28

      NARRATOR: When police support arrivedon the scene of the shooting, it provedto be too late for Michael Crain.

    • 19:35

      KARAM KAOUD: Two police officers went to his windowand touch his neck, I believe.And they made their head like this, that he's dead.

    • 19:50

      NARRATOR: As the spree now entered its fourth day,Officer Andrew Tachias had been left critically wounded.Following the death of Michael Crain,Christopher Dorner's victims now numbered three.

    • 20:04

      KARAM KAOUD: It's very sad, actually.It's very sad.Especially, he have, like, two kids and a wife.

    • 20:16

      MIKE MEDICI: His attack on Officer Tachias and OfficerCrain was cowardice.It was a blind side.It was suppressed fire.They had no idea he was even in the area.

    • 20:32

      CHARLIE BECK: To be murdered for what you do for a living isthe height of prejudice.Here's a man who reviled against prejudice in his manifesto.Yet he was willing to kill somebody just because of whatthey were wearing that day, just because theywere a law enforcement officer.

    • 20:58

      NARRATOR: Only hours on from the murder of MichaelCrain, Christopher Dorner's spree was to hit the skids,and detectives would soon have him in their sights.

    • 21:10

      JIM SIMONS: We had a full perimeteraround the cabin-- constant exchange of gunfire-- I mean,hundreds and hundreds of rounds being shot back and forth.

    • 21:19

      MIKE MEDICI: He was like a trapped animal at that point.He was prepared for it and more than willing to fight.[THEME MUSIC]

    • 21:38

      NARRATOR: In 2013, California wouldbe struck by a killing spree that would make wavesaround the world.

    • 21:45

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: I think during that weekto 10-day period of time, I would say thousandsof police officers were involved.[Paul Zellerbach, District Attorney, Riverside]

    • 21:54

      NARRATOR: Making his violent intentions publicvia an online manifesto, Christopher Dornerannounced plans to target his former employers at the LAPD.

    • 22:04

      CHARLIE BECK: He was going to seek revenge and seek revengein a very violent way. [Charlie Beck, Chief of Police, LAPD]

    • 22:08

      NARRATOR: Four days into his spree,Dorner had claimed the lives of three--

    • 22:13

      KARAM KAOUD: They made their head like this, that he's dead.[Karam Kaoud, Taxi Driver]

    • 22:17

      NARRATOR: --leaving another critically injured,his indiscriminate killings initiating a statewide climateof fear.

    • 22:26

      SERGIO DIAZ: There wasn't much rationalitythat you could attribute to this individualthat you could say, "OK, we know who's safe and who's not safe.So a very much heightened sense of danger and vulnerability.

    • 22:40

      NARRATOR: With police paranoia at an all time high,they at last got a break in the case.

    • 22:48

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: In a remote area on a dirt road,his burned-out truck was found.

    • 22:57

      MIKE MEDICI: But when Christopher Dorner crashedhis truck up on the mountain, I think the majority of usbelieved he was still up there.

    • 23:05

      SERGIO DIAZ: There was an initial concernthat this was bait and that Dorner was somewherenearby ready to snipe.

    • 23:17

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: People were worried.Nobody knew where he was.We were all on edge. [Rick Helterbrake, Local Resident]We're all keeping weapons by the door, hopefully,not that we're going to confront somebodylike Christopher Dorner.

    • 23:28

      NARRATOR: The discovery was made on the edge of the mountaintown of Big Bear and would mark a turning pointin what had now become one of the largestmanhunts in California history.

    • 23:40

      JIM SIMONS: During the actual manhunt,right after Christopher Dorner's vehicle was found,there were hundreds of officers up there.

    • 23:51

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: All the police agencies in my countywere on tactical alert, the Sheriff's department,the Riverside Police Department.

    • 23:59

      SERGIO DIAZ: The search involved every level of law enforcementin the United States.

    • 24:05

      NARRATOR: With Dorner's reputationfor the unpredictable in mind, policeproceeded with caution as they began their investigation.

    • 24:13

      MIKE MEDICI: He was well armed.He had access to assault weapons and extremelyhigh-powered assault weapons at that.He had a large quantity of ammunition, he was very mobile.

    • 24:27

      NARRATOR: With the normally tranquil ski resort now overrunwith detectives, the search for Dorner began.

    • 24:34

      DEPUTY: We're using Snowcats and APCs with chainson them to get to those areas.

    • 24:40

      NEWSCASTER: Deputies say they searched 200 homesin an eight-mile wooded area whereChristopher Dorner's burned-out truck was discovered.

    • 24:52

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: Knocking on doors,going through fields and forests, trying to seeif they could locate him or find him.[KNOCKING]

    • 25:01

      DEPUTY: Sheriff's Department.

    • 25:03

      MIKE MEDICI: You're talking about thousandsof cabins in isolated areas.And as many as they searched out there,he had the advantage, no question.

    • 25:13

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: He could easily find an unoccupied cabinand maybe break in and stay there.

    • 25:19

      NARRATOR: The challenges of tracking Dorner downin such hostile terrain would be considerable.

    • 25:25

      MIKE MEDICI: Just the element of surprisethat he actually had the benefit of,when you don't know where somebody is hiding it givesthem an extreme advantage.

    • 25:38

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: You didn't know if hewas hiding behind a tree with a sniper's rifle.They were trudging around, trying to locate him,and he could be behind any tree or any corner,waiting to shoot them and kill them.

    • 25:54

      NARRATOR: As the story began to break worldwide,observers started to examine what might be drivingDorner to commit his crimes.

    • 26:06

      JAMES USERA: You have to sit there and really think hard.Is this the guy that I knew, or was the guythat I knew a facade?I mean, was he pulling one over on me all those years?To see somebody go from being a bright, capable young manwith a bright future to America's most wanted.

    • 26:27

      JAMES USERA [continued]: mass murderer, I was flabbergasted.

    • 26:31

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: I think what Mr Dorner ultimatelyrealized was that, in a sense, his world was crumbling aroundhim.Everything that he had tried to accomplishand set out as goals, whether it be in the militaryor in law enforcement, didn't end well for him.He was a failure, and he couldn't deal with that.He couldn't accept that.And he had nowhere else to go, and ultimately wrought

    • 26:56

      PAUL ZELLERBACH [continued]: retribution.

    • 27:01

      NARRATOR: In the years that followed his dismissalfrom the LAPD, Dorner would sufferpersonal setbacks resulting in a steady slide into depression.

    • 27:12

      CRAIG JACKSON: Being depressed, as Dorner suggested,is not the sole reason why individualsengage in spree killings. [Craig Jackson, Criminal Psychologist]No doubt he was depressed.What Dorner had that was different to the millionsof other people who become severely depressedis he had narcissistic tendencies,he had access to firearms, and also a willingnessto kill to prove his point.

    • 27:34

      NARRATOR: With his life at its lowestever had don't I began to ready himself for whathe called his last resort.

    • 27:43

      SERGIO DIAZ: After he was dismissed from the policedepartment, he was apparently buying and sellingguns and suppressors and ammunition,and the whole time, stewing about what had happened to him.

    • 28:02

      NARRATOR: Following the killings in Irvine and Riverside,Dorner had fled to the mountains of Southern California.Search parties continued to scourBig Bear for any sign of the fugitive killer.However, their progress was slowedby hostile weather conditions.

    • 28:20

      REPORTER: The SWAT team and more than 120 heavily armed officershave been combing the area for two days, the snowslowing but not stopping their search.

    • 28:30

      NARRATOR: Locals and authorities alikefeared Christopher Dorner may have slipped the net.

    • 28:35

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: Other than his burned out vehicle, wehad no specific information that he was still in the Big Beararea.

    • 28:41

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: The longer the time passed,more and more people were thinking that he was gone.

    • 28:47

      NARRATOR: However, such feelings would prove unfounded.The 12th of February, 2013, 12 22 PM.Mountain Vista Resort, Big Bear.911 received a call from holiday cabin owner, Karen Reynolds.

    • 29:09

      OPERATOR: 911 Emergency, what are you reporting?

    • 29:12

      KAREN REYNOLDS: We've been tied up by Dorner.

    • 29:15

      OPERATOR: You guys were tied up?

    • 29:17

      KAREN REYNOLDS: Yeah, tied up by him.

    • 29:21

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: He went into a cabinwhere a couple had arrived, I guess,after he had broken into that cabin.And he tied them up and held them captive.

    • 29:30

      SERGIO DIAZ: The victims managed to free themselves.They call the authorities, and they reportthat he has taken their car.

    • 29:38

      OPERATOR: What make and model?

    • 29:40

      KAREN REYNOLDS: It's a Nissan Rogue, R-O-G-U-E.

    • 29:44

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: Those people are very fortunate that theyare still alive.

    • 29:49

      NARRATOR: With fresh information to hand,Officers Jim Simons and Mike Medici nowhad a hot lead on a trail they feared had gone cold.

    • 30:01

      OFFICER: Suspect left 15 to 30 agoand took keys to Nissan Rogue.

    • 30:08

      MIKE MEDICI: Our mission was to findDorner, was to find a car he was driving,was to try to out think him where he was going next.

    • 30:18

      OFFICER: Lock down the mountain.

    • 30:21

      SERGIO DIAZ: Christopher Dorner made it very clearthat we, law enforcement officers, were his targets.So yeah, it obviously heightened our awareness.

    • 30:31

      NARRATOR: While officers Simons and Medici continuedto pursue Dorner, unsuspecting local resident,Rick Heltebrake, would be confronted by the mostwanted man in America.

    • 30:42

      RICK HELTEBRAKE: Right about in here, I see a crashed car.[Rick Heltebrake, Local Resident]And then I see Dorner coming out of the snowbank right there,right at me.I remember him coming at me.I remember the vest.He had a big ballistic vest on with pockets in it.He's got a gun right at my head.I could tell it was some kind of assault rifle.I go like this, put my truck in park.

    • 31:03

      RICK HELTEBRAKE [continued]: He says, "I don't want to hurt you.Just get out and start walking."I had that sense that I wasn't one of his targets.He wanted to kill cops, and I wasn't a cop.I left the truck roughly in this position right here.I got up and I started walking up the road.You realize you just got confronted

    • 31:25

      RICK HELTEBRAKE [continued]: by the most wanted man in America, and he let me go.

    • 31:32

      NARRATOR: After Rick alerted authoritiesto his encounter with Dorner--

    • 31:36

      OFFICER: We have a white Dodge pickuptruck headed down Glass Road.

    • 31:42

      NARRATOR: The pursuit would hurtletowards its explosive end.

    • 31:49

      DISPATCH: All available units to Glass Road and 38th.

    • 31:53

      MIKE MEDICI: The terrain out there was wide open,nothing but trees and snow.You talk about rubber necking.We had to look in a swivel for him,because you didn't know what tree he was behind, what setof rocks he might be behind.

    • 32:16

      JIM SIMONS: We knew he was not going to go easy.We knew it was probably going to end upin some type of confrontation involving gunfire.

    • 32:29

      NARRATOR: San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputies,Alex Collins and Jeremiah MacKay also join the chase.

    • 32:36

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: Jeremiah was very familiarwith the Big Bear area.He had been stationed up there as a deputywith the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department.So he was hot on Mr Dorner trail.

    • 32:47

      OFFICER: Are we sure he's in the vehicleand what tracks are we following, vehicle or foot?

    • 32:52

      MIKE MEDICI: The radio traffic toldus to go a direction, which was a right turn for us.Jeremiah went left, and we did make that right turnaccording to the radio.

    • 33:07

      SERGIO DIAZ: We got to the intersection,and that's when we started hearing the gunfire.

    • 33:12

      OFFICER: Shots Fired, shots fired.Seven Oaks Cabin, Seven Oaks cabin.

    • 33:16

      DISPATCH: Copy.Shots fired, Seven Oaks cabin.

    • 33:19

      NARRATOR: As shots began to ring out,Deputies Collins and MacKay found themselvesin the line of fire.

    • 33:24

      OFFICER: We're returning fire.

    • 33:26

      DISPATCH: Copy.Returning fire.

    • 33:31

      OFFICER: Officer down, officer down!

    • 33:33

      DISPATCH: Copy.Officer down.

    • 33:39

      NARRATOR: Alex Collins had taken a shotto the face and another three to his chest, arm, and leg.Dorner's crosshairs would then fall on Jeremiah MacKay.

    • 33:50

      MIKE MEDICI: We turned around.We pulled up and saw Jeremiah on the ground.

    • 33:59

      OFFICER: Another officer down.

    • 34:01

      DISPATCH: Copy.Another officer down.

    • 34:04

      SERGIO DIAZ: I saw the Jeremiah MacKay was down,and he wasn't moving.It appeared that he was dead.

    • 34:15

      NARRATOR: Christopher Dorner had claimed another lifeand had left another officer seriously wounded.Staging his last stand Dorner barricaded himselfinto an uninhabited cabin, taking aim

    • 34:35

      NARRATOR [continued]: at anyone in his sights.

    • 34:38

      OFFICER: Fire.Automatic fire coming inbound.

    • 34:42

      NARRATOR: Mike Medici and Jim Simons would return fire.

    • 34:47

      SERGIO DIAZ: Dorner started shooting at the deputies pinneddown behind their vehicle.

    • 34:52

      DISPATCH: Automatic fire inbound.

    • 34:53

      SERGIO DIAZ: So we immediately just startedshooting at Christopher Dorner in the cabin,trying to get him to stop firing.

    • 35:00

      MIKE MEDICI: All you would hear of thuds, basically,coming over your head.There was no question in my mind.He was not going to just give up or stop.

    • 35:14

      DISPATCH: SWAT is on scene.

    • 35:16

      MIKE MEDICI: More teams of officers respond.

    • 35:21

      SERGIO DIAZ: Constant exchange of gunfire, I mean,hundreds and hundreds of rounds being shot back and forth.

    • 35:26

      DISPATCH: Deputies are still down in the kill zone.

    • 35:31

      SERGIO DIAZ: And he would start shooting at the deputies pinnedbehind the car again.We could hear the rounds, you know, hitting their car.

    • 35:38

      DISPATCH: They are popping off smoketo get the wounded deputies out.

    • 35:42

      NARRATOR: Under the cover of smoke,Officers Collins and MacKay were retrieved from the kill zone.Deputy Collins would receive treatment for his injuries.As the gun battle raged, officersmoved in to pin down the man they had been hunting for.

    • 36:01

      MIKE MEDICI: San Bernardino SWAT teamstarted making a tactical plan.

    • 36:06

      OFFICER: 445, we need the armored vehicle.

    • 36:07

      DISPATCH: 445, copy.We need the armored vehicle.

    • 36:11

      NARRATOR: At 4:15 PM, more than two hours into the cabin siegeand nine days since the spree began,Dorner's last chance of escape was about to go up in smoke[THEME MUSIC]

    • 36:36

      NARRATOR: In 2013, Christopher Dornerwould embark on a killing spree, declaring his intentto dispatch vigilante justice against his former employersat the LAPD.

    • 36:49

      MIKE MEDICI: He was a ghost.You never knew where he was or firing from.

    • 36:55

      NARRATOR: The out-of-control ex-copwould take the lives of four in nine days,leaving two other victims critically wounded.Sought by law enforcement authoritiesfrom across California, Dorner would stage his last standin a remote mountain cabin near the tourist town of Big Bear.

    • 37:18

      MIKE MEDICI: There was no question in my mind.He was not going to just give up or stop.

    • 37:23

      OFFICER: Officer down, officer down!

    • 37:29

      NARRATOR: Even with the cabin surrounded and the odds stackedagainst him, Dorner seemed determined to continuehis fight until the last.

    • 37:38

      SERGIO DIAZ: They made announcementsto come out and give yourself up numerous times.

    • 37:44

      MIKE MEDICI: Periodically, the gunfire from insidethe cabin continued.At that point, it was very obvious he had no intentionsof giving up at all.

    • 37:55

      NARRATOR: Having refused all negotiations for over twohours, at 4:15 PM, SWAT teams wouldexecute a plan designed to smoke Dorner out,deploying potent tear gas canisters, known as burners,into the cabin.

    • 38:11

      OFFICER: Control 61 Lincoln, we'regoing to be deploying a gas burner.

    • 38:15

      SERGIO DIAZ: Ultimately, the Sheriff's Departmentended up throwing in a smoke canister,which kind of explodes and expels the gas with the flame.

    • 38:24

      OFFICER: We have a fire.

    • 38:26

      SERGIO DIAZ: Unfortunately, that starteda fire inside the cabin.The whole time, we never got any communication backfrom Christopher Dorner in any way,no intentions of turning himself in or giving himself up.

    • 38:41

      OFFICER: OK, guys.Be ready on the number four side.We have fire in the front.He might come out the back.

    • 38:47

      NARRATOR: Watching events unfold live on TV,Dorner's former friend, James Usera, felt mixed emotions.

    • 38:55

      JAMES USERA: It was bizarre to sitthere watching the TV screen.The cabin was on fire.

    • 39:02

      OFFICER: One side's fully engulfed.Fire on the four.

    • 39:07

      JAMES USERA: That was the moment where I kind of knewthat-- OK, my friend's going to dieand there's nothing-- There's nothinganybody can do about it.He ain't coming out of that alive.

    • 39:21

      NARRATOR: Shortly after the cabinbecame engulfed by flames, a single soundemerged from the hut.

    • 39:27

      OFFICER: It sounded like one shot firedfrom inside the residence.

    • 39:31

      NARRATOR: --that signaled the endof nine days that would rank as someof the most chaotic in California's recent history.

    • 39:39

      DISPATCH: Copy, one shot fired from inside the residence.

    • 39:43

      SERGIO DIAZ: We heard a single gunshot,which we believed was Christopher Dorner committingsuicide, taking his own life.

    • 39:53

      CHARLIE BECK: Even in death, he denied reality.

    • 39:59

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: I think he took the cowardly way out.

    • 40:04

      MIKE MEDICI: He was man enough to takethe lives of several people, but he was not manenough to do the time for it.

    • 40:13

      CRAIG JACKSON: He chose the narcissist's way out by endinghis own life. [Prof.Craig Jackson, Criminal Psychologist]Making the final decision over life and death,he chose to control what happenedto him, not the police.

    • 40:25

      NARRATOR: For detectives and citizens alike,the end of Dorner's spree offered a chanceto reflect on the events of the previous nine days.

    • 40:34

      MIKE MEDICI: The sense of relief was, nobody elseis going to die today.

    • 40:39

      SERGIO DIAZ: I was very relieved that wehad finally put an end to this madness that he had created.

    • 40:47

      CHARLIE BECK: He was an evil man who came to an evil endand the world is better for it.

    • 40:54

      NARRATOR: As the smoke from the smoldering cabinbegan to clear, thoughts turned towards whatcould have been behind his decisionto conduct his killing spree.

    • 41:06

      JAMES USERA: Chris was a very capable young man.He could have done anything.I mean, he was smart.He was educated, so to see it end the way that itdid-- We're all left asking questionsabout what was the catalyst?What made him snap?

    • 41:23

      JACK LEVIN: Dorner was in his 30s at the time.This is a time in many men's lives when they feel theyshould be reaching the pinnacle of success.[Jack Levin, Criminologist] And instead,Dorner was sliding downhill fast.And it's that lack of success thatmade him believe that there was little hope for the future,

    • 41:45

      JACK LEVIN [continued]: and he was going to get even through the barrel of a gun.

    • 41:51

      CRAIG JACKSON: He's taken on this angerand fury and personalized it.And at that point, he starts to lose sense of realityand focus more on this idea of gaining revenge.

    • 42:04

      JAMES USERA: It's not something I ever would have expected.But, i mean, can you honestly saythat there's anybody you've ever met who you would expectwould be a killer someday?I mean, nobody expects that of other people.

    • 42:17

      CRAIG JACKSON: Like many of the garage by spree killersDorner Reese clearly laying the blameat the feet of his victims.He's prepared to murder a number of individualsand see it as being a justifiable crime.This forms part of his narcissistic personality.He's more keen on getting his version of eventsacross than any remorse he may feel for the victims.

    • 42:43

      NARRATOR: Without the bravery displayedby officers in the line of duty, the ultimate outcomeof Dorner spree may have been far greater.

    • 42:51

      CHARLIE BECK: Law enforcement is full of heroes.The men and women of all of the agencies thatparticipated in the manhunt for Dorner acted as heroes.And every one of them face danger every timethey put on this uniform or one like it and went out in public,and they know it.

    • 43:13

      NARRATOR: What is beyond doubt isthat the loss of innocent life suffereda Dorner's hand over those nine days was senseless.

    • 43:22

      CHARLIE BECK: You know, Dorner never killedanybody that knew him, or anybodythat had any direct connection with all the thingsthat he thought had been done wrong to him.All of his four victims were completely innocent.

    • 43:39

      SERGIO DIAZ: It's obviously an extreme shock to all the policeofficers when we do lose a colleague.I think it kind of brings us together closer.I think it increases our camaraderiebecause we realize that, at any time, one of uscan be shot and killed.

    • 44:00

      PAUL ZELLERBACH: I went to deputy MacKay'sfuneral service.I ran into an old friend of mine that I hadn't seenfor probably 15 or 20 years.And I was just talking with him at the funeraland then he told me that his daughterwas Deputy McKay's wife.

    • 44:24

      PAUL ZELLERBACH [continued]: And at that moment, he and I started crying.It's a very tragic. situation.[THEME MUSIC]

Killing Spree: Christopher Dorner, Revenge Cop Killer

View Segments Segment :

Abstract

Christopher Dorner was a former Los Angeles police officer who went on a shooting spree to kill police officers and their families. He killed four people before taking his own life. This documentary examines Dorner's personal background, the shooting spree, and the final standoff with police.

Killing Spree: Christopher Dorner, Revenge Cop Killer

Christopher Dorner was a former Los Angeles police officer who went on a shooting spree to kill police officers and their families. He killed four people before taking his own life. This documentary examines Dorner's personal background, the shooting spree, and the final standoff with police.

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website

Back to Top