Gunfire erupted during the hunt for former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who was charged with murder on Monday. The unfolding drama brought officers to a cabin in the mountains where the suspect was barricaded inside. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.
Apart from a rambling manifesto, court filings and the word of former bosses, clues remain scarce as to what was going on in the mind of Christopher Dorner, the former LAPD cop accused of killing four people and engaging cops in a deadly standoff at a mountain cabin.
What does emerge is the profile of an ex-LAPD officer and former Navy reservist who may have allowed years of grievances to fester before erupting into violence.
Southern Utah University confirmed that Dorner was a 2001 graduate of the school, where he majored in political science, minored in psychology and played football. He was a lieutenant in the Navy Reserves from 2002 until the week he went on his alleged killing spree, earning awards for his rifle and pistol marksmanship.
Dorner served in the LAPD from 2005 to 2009 before being fired -- allegedly for making false statements after accusing an officer of beating up a man in training.
It was Dorner’s four-year-old spat with the LAPD that appears to have been foremost in the suspect’s mind as he took off on his rage-fueled flight.
His first two victims, police say, were 28-year-old Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence, 27, killed Feb. 3 in Irvine, Calif., as they parked their car on their way to a Super Bowl party.
Quan’s father, retired police chief Randal Quan, represented Dorner during an internal police department review of the case that got him fired.
“I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours,” Dorner wrote in an 11,400-word manifesto that he allegedly posted on Facebook.
In the Feb. 4 manifesto, supplied by the Los Angeles Police Department to the media, the 6-foot, 270-pound Dorner wrote that killing was “a necessary evil.” Dorner also allegedly threatened other law enforcement officers and their families.
“Self Preservation is no longer important to me,” wrote Dorner, 33. “I do not fear death as I died long ago on 1/2/09.”
On Thursday, police said, Dorner killed an officer and wounded two more in shootings.
“Four years ago he received his discharge papers, if you will, his dismissal papers on Feb. 9, 2009,” former L.A. police chief William Bratton, who was Dorner’s boss from 2002 until he was dismissed, said on Saturday. “A day of significance in his mind that inasmuch as his grievances all seem to center on his dismissal.”
“He collects injustices and never lets them go, and evidently they finally reached a tipping point that led to the series of violent acts the last several days,” Bratton said. “The last thing that he would want would be to be arrested by the LAPD and do a perp walk. That would be the last injustice, the most significant one.”
"The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence, PUBLICLY!!!" Dorner wrote in his manifesto.
On Saturday, LAPD officials said that the department would take another look at how Dorner's case was handled.
The details that emerged about Dorner only became stranger as the hunt intensified. The LAPD said Tuesday that they were going through as many as a thousand tips on where the suspect may have been.
The Associated Press reported that 2006 court papers showed that, after dating a woman for six weeks, he had requested a restraining order against her. Dorner said the girlfriend had posted his LAPD badge number on a website called dontdatehimgirl.com, according to the AP.
A video posted on the celebrity gossip website TMZ appeared to show Dorner purchasing scuba gear on Feb. 1 at Sport Chalet in Torrance, Calif. Police said Tuesday that they were not certain whether or not that man was Dorner.
The possibility that Dorner might have fled to Mexico arose in a criminal complaint filed in Feb. 7 in California’s Central District Court. Early that morning, a San Diego boat captain said, Dorner had tried to steal his boat to flee south across the border, according to the complaint.
Dorner’s wallet and identification cards were found near the border with Mexico, according to the complaint.
Then came the dramatic scene in the mountains near Big Bear Lake on Tuesday afternoon.
Sheriff’s deputies responding to a report that someone matching Dorner’s description had stolen a car exchanged gunfire with the man, according to police. Two deputies were shot, and one later died.
The suspect then was trapped in a cabin, which later erupted in flames and burned to the ground. Officials on Tuesday night were waiting to enter the charred cabin to search for any signs of a body.
NBC News' Tracy Connor, Daniel Arkin, Kari Huus and Andrew Mach, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:40 PM EST