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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Killer Cop: Inside the Hunt for Christopher Dorner

Aired February 17, 2013 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: This is the story of a man who swore to uphold the law, to protect and serve, to safeguard the public. That was his promise. That's how it began for a Los Angeles police cadet named Christopher Dorner.

It ended of course in a fiery shoot-out after a deadly manhunt capping a reign of terror. His promise to protect had become a vow of vengeance, his duty to serve a mission to mete out punishment to the men, women and families of the police force that fired him.

In the hour ahead, every moment that mattered, from the roots of his rage, the terror he inflicted, to the inferno that consumed him.

This is A.C. 360 special, "Killer Cop: Inside the Hunt for Christopher Dorner."

Here's Randi Kaye.

RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Anderson.

It's been a terrifying two weeks for law enforcement in Southern California as a lone gunman and ex-cop fueled by anger set out on a killing rampage. Tonight from Los Angeles, we bring you the story of one man who waged a deadly war of retribution and take you inside one of the largest manhunts in Los Angeles police history.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): For almost a decade, Irvine, California has been known as the safest city in America. But in Early February, this L.A. Scene was the scene of a terrible double murder, a crime at the time that offered no hint of the terror to come.

SGT. NOELLE SMILEY, IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Call came out at 9:10 this evening at 2100 Scholarship at a parking structure.

KAYE: It was February 3 at 9:10 p.m. when Irvine police responded to a tip and found 27-year-old Keith Lawrence and his 28- year-old fiancee, Monica Quan. Both had been shot dead in Lawrence's parked car. Each had been shot multiple times.

SMILEY: We are trying to figure out what happened.

KAYE: Initially, police had no motive and no leads. Lawrence was a well-liked former college basketball player who had just begun a law enforcement career as a University of Southern California safety officer. And Quan, the daughter of a former Los Angeles police captain, was a beloved assistant basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton.

MARCIA FOSTER, BASKETBALL COACH: A really bright light was put out way too soon.

KAYE: The pair's senseless killing left a community in shock, and police searching for answers. Three days later, a break in the case.

DAVID MAGGARD, IRVINE POLICE CHIEF: Today, we have identified Christopher Dorner as a suspect in this double homicide. Dorner was an LAPD officer through 2009 and a reservist for the United States Navy. Of particular interest at this point in the organization is a multipage manifesto, in which the suspect has implicated himself in the slayings.

KAYE: Dorner's angry manifesto was much more than a clue. Posted on Facebook, it was a clear and direct threat aimed at members of the LAPD who Dorner claimed ended his law enforcement career. In his manifesto, Dorner warned that his targets would include not only police, but their family members as well, writing -- quote -- "I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own. I'm terminating yours."

Dorner's chilling manifesto made clear Monica Quan's murder was far from random. It was Quan's father who had unsuccessfully represented Dorner in a disciplinary hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD four years earlier.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Him basically stalking Ms. Quan and her fiancee, this was a guy, a man on a mission for revenge.

KAYE: Targeted by one of their own, the Los Angeles Police Department ordered special units to provide 24-hour protection to the dozens of people named in Dorner's manifesto.

MAGGARD: We have strong cause to believe Dorner is armed and dangerous.

KAYE: This video obtained exclusively by CNN shows Dorner just 12 hours after the Irvine killings apparently placing a military belt, a helmet and ammunition behind an auto parts store near San Diego.

CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, POLICE CHIEF: Of course he knows what he's doing. We trained him. He was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary, especially to the police officers involved.

KAYE: Hours after that press conference with Southern California police on high alert, at 10:30 p.m., Dorner slipped into this San Diego marina, boarded a boat and surprised its owner.

LT. DAVID ROHOWITZ, SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: He pointed a handgun at the victim who was an 81-year-old male and demanded the boat. KAYE: Dorner told the man he wanted to flee to Mexico.

ROHOWITZ: The suspect then attempted to start the boat.

KAYE: But a rope became caught in the boat's propeller, delaying Dorner's escape.

ROHOWITZ: At that point the suspect, according to the victim, became frustrated, took a few small items, including cell phone and some other miscellaneous items from inside the boat, tied the victim up and left in an unknown direction.

BROOKS: He didn't harm the 81-year-old man. Why? I think because he wasn't a cop.

KAYE: Days before the killings in Irvine, surveillance cameras captured images of Dorner purchasing scuba gear.

BROOKS: You could use that against officers coming in with tear gas. Was he trying to maybe attack someone by coming up behind them, under them, on a boat? We don't know.

KAYE: And just as the police had begun zeroing their attention on the scene of the failed boat theft in San Diego, Dorner was spotted begin, this time 90 miles north. At approximately 1:24 a.m., two Los Angeles police officers on protective duty in the Los Angeles suburb of Corona were flagged down by a man who had spotted Dorner's truck at a nearby gas station. The police followed the truck.

SGT. RUDY LOPEZ, LAPD: Exiting the freeway, the officers made that turn to eastbound where the suspect exited the vehicle, was out of the vehicle immediately with a shoulder weapon and started to shoot at the officers. The officers took cover, returned fire.

KAYE: In the resulting exchange of gunfire, one bullet grazed a responding officer's head. And their patrol car was so damaged, they couldn't chase Dorner as he drove away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect Christopher Dorner, he is driving a 2005 charcoal gray pickup Nissan-type truck. The last license plate known was...

KAYE: Although he was being hunted, Dorner was not finished doing the hunting; 20 minutes after his shoot-out in Corona, in nearby Riverside, as an 11-year police officer and his trainee were stopped at a red light, Dorner pulled up beside them and opened fire.

Veteran officer Michael Crain, a father of two, was killed. His 27-year-old trainee was critically wounded.

BECK: The Riverside officers were cowardly ambushed. They had no opportunity to fight back, no pre-warning.

BROOKS: You know, when I first think about Dorner, words that come to mind, coward, vindictive, cold-blooded, deadly. KAYE: In less than a week, Christopher Dorner had killed three people, wounded two, left an entire region on edge and sparked the largest manhunt in Los Angeles police history. CINDY BACHMAN, SAN BERNARDINO SHERIFF'S OFFICE: There was a murder and attempted murder of three law enforcement officers today. The person responsible for that is still on the street. And we don't know what he's going to do.

KAYE: The race to track down the highly trained former cop had begun. And the clock was ticking.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: The former LAPD officer now has thousands of his brothers in blue chasing him. But just who was Christopher Dorner?

CNN's Kyung Lah looks at what lit the fuse that caused this explosive rampage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Christopher Dorner, target of the largest manhunt in LAPD history, a vengeful ex-cop, highly trained marksman, armed and dangerous, turning against the very agency that defined him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He loved being a cop. He wanted to be a cop his whole life.

LAH: The Chris Dorner who was terrorizing California is far from the sunny upbringing of his Southern California childhood. He grew up in Los Angeles's sprawling suburbs with his mother and sister attending Norwalk Christian Elementary School. It's here where we get Dorner's first sense of being wronged.

In his manifesto, he writes a fellow student calls him the N-word on the school's playground. Dorner fights the student. Then he writes, he's appalled when the principal encourages him to turn the other cheek. In high school, Dorner writes about another incident. An assistant principal lied to Dorner's mother about the theft of a watch, something Dorner writes, "I never forgot."

JAMES USERA, KNEW CHRISTOPHER DORNER: He just told me that when he was in grade school, he would get picked on.

James Usera was Dorner's college friend. Dorner shared stories of his childhood bullying when they were teammates on Southern Utah University's football team.

USERA: The one thing I do remember about Chris was that he was sensitive to racial issues, race relations in general.

LAH (on camera): It made an impression on him? USERA: I'm sure it did. Again, I think it would make an impression on anybody.

LAH (voice-over): Aaron Alford coached Dorner, a scholarship running back at Southern Utah. He was good in class, fit in with the team. But Alford said he stuck out in the same way Alford did.

AARON ALFORD, COACHED DORNER: Obviously, as a young African male coming to Southern Utah University, there were those culture shock moments. He really as far as race and racism, that was something that he was very sensitive too. He was one to call them out on it. He wasn't going to sit back and let it -- brush it under the rug like it's OK.

LAH: Usera describes Dorner as a man who saw the world as black and white, right and wrong.

USERA: One of the things I always respected about Chris was the fact that he was a person of very strong convictions and a person with a lot of integrity and honesty.

LAH (on camera): What code of ethics did he live by?

USERA: Chris, as much as anybody, he believes in right and wrong. If you do wrong, you should be punished, and if you do right, you should live your life that way.

LAH (voice-over): One of the last times Usera saw Dorner was on campus, signing up for the Navy as he graduated in 2001.

BROOKS: If you look at his record, there's nothing really outstanding in there. He was, it sounded like, a competent Navy officer. Didn't rise up that far.

LAH: But the Navy Reserve lieutenant was good at one thing, shooting, rated a rifle marksman and a pistol expert, a skill apparent when he joined the LAPD on February 7, 2005. The man who gave CNN this video did not want to be identified, but talked so you could see what the LAPD was up against.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at Chris, you can see that he's a little bit of an expert. Watch. He disarms. He will shoot. And almost no movement when he shoots the gun and then pop like nothing.

LAH (on camera): So, he stood out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he stood out. He knew what he was doing.

LAH: Being a cop, could you tell that it was important to him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think it was very important to him, yes.

LAH: You could see it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LAH: Even during the training?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

I think it's a 300-pound dummy and he does that easily. LAH: So, this is a very strong man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

LAH (voice-over): But not everything was easy for the aspiring police officer. Drill instructors picked on him for his weight and slow running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was always struggling, and I thought, maybe because he's a big guy everybody is picking on him. A couple of times, he would respond sort of aggressively. And he would yell back a little bit louder than anybody else would. He would be like, yes, drill instructor, or like OK.

LAH: Dorner did not complete the police academy until the next class, because of an accidental discharge of his gun wounding his hand. The police suspended him for two days. The rookie cop eventually started working at the LAPD harbor unit. He was working there in 2006 when Ariana Williams met him.

ARIANA WILLIAMS, EX-GIRLFRIEND: We only dated for probably three months at the most. It was a very quick, intense romance.

LAH: One that ended badly. Williams feeling scorned, posted Dorner's name and his badge number on dontdatehimgirl.com, a social networking site. Williams describes verbal abuse, that Dorner was super-paranoid, he had a color problem, writing, "This man really hated himself because he's black."

WILLIAMS: It was obviously some sort of issue for him, the racial thing.

LAH (on camera): You did state in the post that you felt like he was almost a self-hating black man?

WILLIAMS: Well, I did as far as him identifying with himself as a black man in America. I just noticed that there were some discrepancies there, for me from the outside looking in.

LAH (voice-over): Like Dorner telling Williams she was the first black girl he ever dated. Williams says Dorner had severe mood swings calling it good Chris/bad Chris. Dorner filed a temporary restraining order against Williams after he saw her posting.

(on camera): So this was the bad Chris?

WILLIAMS: This was the bad Chris.

LAH (voice-over): The court case was eventually dismissed. Soon after, the military called him up for a yearlong deployment. He never saw active duty. But when he came back, according to police records, he struggled to fit in once again. In 2007, Dorner's training officer reports while on duty, he was crying and demanded to be taken back to the station to talk to the training unit. The next week, Dorner reported training Teresa Evans to the LAPD for kicking a disabled man in an incident outside of a DoubleTree Hotel, a report that would ultimately lead to his dismissal. Dorner told Usera about his problems with the LAPD the last time the two men spoke.

(on camera): Can you see how a man like that, if he believes he's telling the truth, that could drive him to something like this?

USERA: There's absolutely no excuse or justification that would make what's going on now OK. But the truth is the truth. And again, I mean, I believe Chris Dorner's a truth-teller.

LAH: Given his personality and his strong belief to tell the truth, can you see how it might cause him to have a psychotic break of some sort?

USERA: That's got to be pretty devastating for a guy who, again, lived his life by a certain code of ethics and believed himself to be an honest man.

LAH (voice-over): The man who friends say saw the world in black and white was fired from the LAPD for making false statements against his training officer. He lost every appeal to get his job back.

Dorner writes in his manifesto, his firing triggered severe depression. On February 7 of this year, exactly eight years from the very day he stepped into the academy as a new recruit, Christopher Dorner began to kill police officers. The LAPD now had to hunt down a man who was once one of their own before he killed again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): Where would Christopher Dorner go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to find the scene.

KAYE: Who would be his next target?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An officer-involved shooting here.

KAYE: An entire region on edge.

BECK: Of course he knows what he's doing. We trained him. He was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary, especially to the police officers involved. ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: I think there was a level of anxiety and fear that permeated our city and the region.

KAYE: Police were on high alert and on the lookout for Dorner's truck. Officers in Torrance thought they spotted it. Shots rang out. Passenger and driver were injured, but instead of a cop killer, they had shot at two innocent people.

BROOKS: Apparently, they tried to pull over, didn't pull over, and they shot at them. Well, it was some people delivering newspapers.

KAYE: Soon after, just blocks away, officers fired at another truck, another mistake. This time, no one was hurt.

VILLARAIGOSA: Remember that this was almost within minutes, hours of what happened in Riverside and so there was a heightened sense of apprehension. And I could just tell you that there was frayed nerves.

KAYE: Police were on a hair-trigger response. Tensions were running high. They were the targets named in Dorner's manifesto.

The subject line reads, "Last Resort." It is the only explanation we will ever hear from Christopher Dorner, over 11,000 words posted on his Facebook page, addressed simply to America. It is pages and pages of threats, confessions and rambling opinions. And it is chilling to read.

"I know most of you who personally know me, you are saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seen. I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and the media. 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 question is, what would you do to clear your name?"

USERA: You see that smiling face, and that's the Chris I know. And -- but at the same time, again, he's being accused of some pretty horrific crimes.

KAYE: James Usera is mentioned in the manifesto as a great friend by Dorner.

USERA: Initially, it was sort of shock and befuddlement and disbelief, and this is not the Chris Dorner that I know.

KAYE: They were college friends. Usera last spoke with him in 2008 after Dorner was terminated from the LAPD for making false statements to a superior officer.

The termination is at the root of Dorner's rampage. He is clearly looking for vindication. "The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence publicly." Dorner writes: "I will not accept any type of currency, goods in exchange for the attacks to stop, nor do I want it. I want my name back, period. There is no negotiation."

Kris Mohandie, a former LAPD psychologist, never treated Dorner but has studied his writings for clues to his mental state.

KRIS MOHANDIE, FORMER LAPD PSYCHOLOGIST: Dorner was absolutely obsessed with his grievance with the police department, his sense of having been wrongly treated, wrongly terminated. And this was the thing that he lived with day in and day out, couldn't let go. KAYE: The shooter urges the media to investigate his case. "With the discovery and evidence available, you will see the truth. Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared."

He writes repeatedly about dying. "I have nothing to lose. You cannot prevail against an enemy combatant who has no fear of death."

Dorner promises "The violence of action will be high" and lists his targets by name, all members of the LAPD. "In essence, I have lost everything, because the LAPD took my name, and knew I was innocent. Your day has come."

MOHANDIE: He thinks he's special. He's entitled, he's narcissistic, and believes he gets to act as judge, jury and executioner and strike at these people he perceives have wronged him.

KAYE: He threatens that "Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family." He made good on that promise when he shot and killed Monica Quan and her fiancee. Her father was named by Dorner in an ominous threat.

"Look your wives, husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead." Ironically, Dorner also uses his manifesto to talk about gun control, even offering his views on the victims of Virginia Tech, Newtown and other mass shootings.

"Remember the innocent children," he writes. "Make sure this never happens again."

MOHANDIE: The fact that he's talking about other incidents like Newtown, for example, and innocent victims, yet then he's choosing to target innocent victims who he's now labeled as not innocent because they're part of the body that has wronged him, this is hypocrisy.

KAYE: Whether his claims are valid or not, Dorner's tone in the manifesto is unwavering. He's on a crusade to purge the LAPD of corruption.

He writes: "No one grows up and wants to be a cop killer. It was against everything I ever was. As a young police explorer, I found my calling in life, but as a young police officer, I found that the violent suspects on the street are not the only people you have to watch."

Though most of the rant is devoted to his anger at the LAPD, Dorner also bizarrely offers his opinions on politics, celebrities and pop culture, and even discusses the first lady's haircut. "Off the record, I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama." He writes, "A woman whose professional and educational accomplishments are second to none when compared to recent first wives."

MOHANDIE: All of a sudden, he starts talking about these various Hollywood people, the president of the United States. And this is his way of conveying, I'm an important person now. Because I have done these outrageous things, it's elevated me into a position of notoriety.

KAYE: Mohandie says that narcissism led Dorner to reach out to CNN's Anderson Cooper, who received a package from Dorner in the mail -- details of that bizarre package next.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: The 360 special edition, "Killer Cop: Inside the Hunt for Christopher Dorner," continues in a moment. First, the latest on other stories that we're following.

President Obama was in Chicago today talking about gun violence in a speech at a high school near where he used to live. The president called for Congress to vote on a package of gun control proposals. He said children who live in violent neighborhoods needs help from the government, schools, family and clergy to have a chance to change their lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not just a gun issue. It's also an issue of the kinds of communities we're building. For that, we all share responsibility as citizens to fix it. We all share a responsibility to move this country closer to our founding vision that, no matter who you are or where you come from, here in America, you can decide your own destiny. You can succeed if you work hard and fulfill your responsibilities.

(ONE VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was in court in South Africa today, accused of murdering his model girlfriend. The case has shocked South Africa and people all over the world who were inspired by the athlete known as Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs. Pistorius broke down and sobbed when the judge officially charged him with murder. A bail hearing is set for Tuesday.

As part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has admitted misusing campaign funds. The plea agreement says Jackson and his wife spent some $750,000 in campaign money to buy everything from furs to Michael Jackson memorabilia. As part of the deal, Jackson has to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars.

About 1,000 people were hurt when a meteor strike -- streaked across the Russian sky exploding with a sonic boom that shattered glass in buildings. NASA says the explosion was the equivalent of 300,000 tons of TNT.

And play at the women's Australian Open golf tournament was interrupted in the first round by kangaroos. It's dry this time of year, and apparently, the kangaroos are drawn to the lush courses or maybe they just really like golf.

More serious fare ahead. The 360 special edition, "Killer Cop Inside the Hunt for Christopher Dorner," continues in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: After Christopher Dorner's manifesto came to life, another strange turn. Kyung Lah has the details of a package he sent to our own Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The package sent by Christopher Dorner was bizarre. Anderson Cooper described the con tents in detail on AC 360.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The suspect, Christopher Dorner, also reached out to me directly, mailing a parcel to my office that arrived on the first of this month. My assistant opened it. Inside he found this hand-labeled DVD accompanied by a yellow Post-It note reading in part, quote, "I never lied," apparently a reference to his 2008 dismissal from the LAPD.

LAH: Dorner was fired from the department for making false statements after accusing an LAPD training officer of kicking a mentally unstable man. The chief who fired him, Bill Bratton. Bratton gave Dorner this personal coin bearing the chief's own name.

COOPER: Also in the package, as I mentioned, a coin wrapped in duct tape. Now the tape bearing a hand-written inscription: "Thanks but no thanks, Bill Bratton." Obviously, his former boss. And here's the coin again. You can see the bullet holes, three to the center, another nicked off the top of that.

LAH: After learning of its contents, Anderson's assistant notified CNN's head of security, who alerted Chief Bratton and law enforcement. The former LAPD chief said he gave the coins to a lot of officers but doesn't remember the meeting with Dorner. He doesn't question the firing.

BILL BRATTON, FORMER LAPD CHIEF: Quite clearly, in his mind, I was among those responsible for his problems, his dismissal from the department. Clearly I was. I was the chief of police. I fired him, but I have no regrets about that.

LAH: Was the package Dorner sent to Anderson a cry for justice in the court of public opinion, where the legal system had failed him?

In the manifesto Dorner posted online, he writes, "The LAPD hasn't changed since the days of Rodney King. It has gotten worse"

Dorner picks at an old painful scab in Los Angeles: the LAPD and its troubled history with the black community.

DOMINIQUE DIPRIMA, KJLH RADIO: Radio Free 103.2, KJLH, Compton, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Inglewood. Today we're talking about Christopher Dorner. We're talking about the LAPD. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe what he's doing really is no different than our ancestors would have done and did do in fighting to get free.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not that people don't have a right to be angry. It's what you do about the anger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The debate isn't limited to talk radio. Across the web, a small but vocal show of report: Facebook pages like these. Call this disgusting say critics, but much of it is tinged with the sense of injustice dating back decades, from the Watts riots of 1965 to the 1991 Rodney King beating and the Rampart scandal of the late '90s.

CONNIE RICE, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: LAPD's relationship with the black community could only be described as a state of war.

LAH: Civil rights attorney Connie rice sued the department for years before joining it as an advisor to the chief to change the police force from the inside.

RICE: I know that history well. I represented over 100 African- American and other minority officers. And we've been doing battle, hand-to-hand combat with LAPD to get LAPD to change.

LAH: Rice says that battle is paying off. Today minorities make up more than half of its force. And something that was unthinkable years ago, L.A.'s current police chief, Charlie Beck reopening the investigation into Dorner's firing. He did it while his officers continued the manhunt.

CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LAPD: I hear the ghosts of past of the Los Angeles Police Department. I hear that people think that maybe there is something to what he says. And I want to put that to rest. If there is anything to what he says, or anything new in what he brings up in his manifesto, we will deal with it, and we will deal with it in a public way.

COMMANDER ANDREW SMITH, LAPD: He's not opening it because of the accusations or because of the musings of someone who's a multiple murderer now. He's doing it because he wants to ensure that the public knows that the Los Angeles Police Department is fair and transparent. And he wants to go through everything and have a fresh set of eyes look at the entire investigation now.

RICE: Let's not merge the past with today. And let's separate out the possibility that Mr. Dorner has raised legitimate issues from the complete illegitimacy and obscenity of what he's done. LAH: The LAPD fighting its own demons while it chased the devil.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Christopher Dorner's shooting spree had put his former law- enforcement colleagues on notice. Police were scrambling to provide protection for dozens of targets, waiting nervously for Dorner's next move. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): Dorner had already shot and killed three people and wounded two others. But there were still no leads on his whereabouts. Then a discovery suddenly shifted focus to the other side of the state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just learning that a burned-out truck near Big Bear Lake, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, belongs to Christopher Jordan Dorner.

KAYE: Guns were found in the truck, and footprints in the snow.

SHERIFF JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: I can tell you we did find some tracks around the vehicle, but they did not lead to the suspect.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: They brought in canine units to try to get a scent, and apparently they couldn't get a scent.

MCMAHON: We are continuing the door-to-door search in the immediate area. We have air resources, depending on the weather. It will depend whether they continue flying tonight. There's about 125 law enforcement officers in this general area, both tracking as well as doing the door to door searches .

KAYE: In addition to the weather, the desperate search was complicated by vast and difficult terrain. Investigators discovered two links to Dorner in the snowy mountains. One was land owned by his mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is an undeveloped piece of property.

KAYE: The other, according to this federal arrest affidavit, was residential property not far from the burnt-out truck. It had a connection to a known associate of Dorner. But the fugitive was nowhere to be found.

The affidavit also revealed that a detective found Dorner's wallet and identification cards near the U.S./Mexico border and recent descriptions of someone matching Dorner's description attempting to flee to Mexico.

Not far from the border, near San Diego, a moment of hope. A possible Dorner sighting, but that phoned-in tip turned out to be a hoax, another dead-end. BROOKS: Somebody says, "Hey, I sighted Dorner here. I sighted Dorner -- I saw Dorner there," you've got to run those leading out. You've got to make sure that you dot all the "I's" and cross all the "T's," because you've got a cold-blooded killer out there.

KAYE: By now the relentless investigation had reached Las Vegas, where Dorner's house was searched. Day three, and La Palma became another stop on the manhunt to search the home of Dorner's mother.

BROOKS: So they're going to check out his friends, his family, acquaintances, anybody at all who he may have had contact with in the last year, to find out, OK, have you had any contact with this guy? Has he been using any kind of credit cards, ATM cards? Has he been texting? Has he been Twittering? Has he been on Facebook, e-mails?

KAYE: Day four, still no sign. Big Bear continued to be ground zero in the hunt for Christopher Dorner. That evening the Los Angeles Police Department announced a new investigative strategy, a joint task force.

Inside our task force are officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Irvine Police Department, Riverside Police Department, the FBI, the U.S. Marshalls Service and other allied law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California and throughout the region.

KAYE: Day five, Sunday, Dorner remained on the loose.

BECK: Every day that Dorner is loose the likelihood of an attack on either a uniformed police officer or a family of a police officer is likely.

KAYE: Southern California remained gripped by fear and uncertainty. A home improvement store was evacuated in L.A. after the mere mention of a Dorner sighting.

The Los Angeles police were finding themselves spread too thin between the ongoing manhunt and extra security at the Grammy Awards. They announced that low priority radio calls might go unanswered.

MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES: There was a tremendous strain on resources. Remember, that we had to protect the 50 people that were targeted, protect their families, as well. We were on a tactical alert for virtually most of that time. But I said to the chief, and we both agreed, don't spare any expense.

KAYE: The mayor turned to the citizens of Los Angeles to help catch a killer.

VILLARAIGOSA: Leaders from throughout the region, including leaders from businesses and unions, government, law enforcement and community groups, came together to pool resources and protect our core value of public safety. Collectively, this group that, by my office, is posting a reward of $1 million for information that will lead to Mr. Dorner's capture.

KAYE: The public responded. Tips came flooding in. Now numbering more than 1,000.

LT. ANDY NEIMAN, LAPD: The investigation will prioritize those clues based on the information that we receive. And those clues will be followed up on immediately.

KAYE: As leads were followed up, the hunt moved into day 6 and then day 7. Dozens of L.A. Police Department families feared to be targets of Dorner were still under 24-hour protection.

The heavily-armed killer was out there somewhere, still in hiding, but not for long. He would soon be heading into a deadly stand-off.

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KAYE: Not far from where Dorner had abandoned his burned out truck, Jim and Karen Reynolds walked into their cabin and into Christopher Dorner's hideout. He tied them up.

JIM REYNOLDS, HELD HOSTAGE BY DORNER: Once he got us bound, then he went out to the bathroom real quick, which was close, and came back with a couple wash cloths, stuck one in each of our mouths.

KAYE: Dorner stole their vehicle and fled down Highway 38. As he made his escape, Karen Reynolds, hands still tied, searched for her phone.

KAREN REYNOLDS, HELD HOSTAGE BY DORNER: And he'd left my cell phone right on the coffee table, right there, and I sat down and was able to scoot around and work with it and call 911.

KAYE: Dorner didn't have time to get far. Two California Fish and Wildlife wardens spotted Dorner driving.

LT. PATRICK FOY, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE: They were approaching two buses. They passed the two buses, and they noticed tucked in behind the bus was the suspect vehicle.

KAYE: Dorner sped up, apparently lost control, and crashed his car, then fled on foot, escaping yet again. Camp ranger Rick Heltebrake was the next to encounter the elusive killer.

RICK HELTEBRAKE, CARJACKING VICTIM: I was driving up this side road in my camp, and I was coming up to a right-hand curve. I noticed some movement over in the trees off to the left side. And before I could even process that, I saw Mr. Dorner coming out of the snow at me with a rifle pointed at my head. I stopped, put my truck into park, put my hands up. And he said, "I don't want to hurt you. Just get out and start walking up the road and take your dog."

I asked him if I could take my leash with me, and he said, "No. Just start walking." And that's what I did.

KAYE (on camera): So he told you to start walking, take your dog. What happened next? HELTEBRAKE: That's exactly what I did. I started walking up the road. I got up the road a little ways, ten, 15 seconds later, and I heard a round of gunshots.

KAYE (voice-over): It was Dorner shooting at Fish and Wildlife officers. One bullet came within inches of a warden's head. That warden returned fire: 20 rounds. Dorner sped away.

Soon he was forced to abandon Heltebrake's truck and ran towards a cabin. Police quickly surrounded it. They'd finally cornered their target, but the showdown was just beginning.

A local CBS reporter captured the scene when Dorner opened fire on San Bernardino sheriff's deputies. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are shots fired, four or five shots fired.

KAYE: And then the words no officer wants to hear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer down, officer down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officer down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medic ships in the air. Medic ships in the air. Officer down.

KAYE: One deputy was wounded, another killed.

NEIMAN: It was horrifying. To listen to that firefight and to hear those words, "Officer down," is the most gut-wrenching experience that you can have as a police officer.

KAYE: Dorner had barricaded himself inside the cabin.

BROOKS: So now you have a stand-off at the cabin. They say they have them pinned down. What does that mean?

KAYE: Was anyone else inside? Anyone else in danger? And what else was in Dorner's arsenal?

BROOKS: We don't know, but a short time later, we see smoke coming from the cabin. Later, we see heavy fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, be ready on the No. 4 side. We have fire in the front. He might come out the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sixty-one Lincoln. We have ammo exploding inside.

Two and four side are fully engulfed. Fire moving to three now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. Numbers two and four, fully engulfed.

BROOKS: San Bernardino Sheriff's Department went in with armored personnel vehicles that had the capability of going in and tearing down walls.

KAYE: Demolition, fire and a single shot from inside the cabin.

CPT. GREGG HERBERT, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT: Which was a much different sounding shot from the shots we'd been -- when he had been shooting at us.

KAYE: The cabin was destroyed, the charred remains of Christopher Dorner identified.

CPT. KEVIN LACY, RIVERSIDE COUNTY CORONER OFFICE: The information that we have right now seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner's life was self-inflicted.

KAYE: The ordeal was over. But as the smoke cleared, questions lingered whether the police set the cabin ablaze on purpose.

BROOKS: I've been talking to some of my former colleagues who are still active in law enforcement, and we're all wondering, why did they throw burners into an occupied building? Were they doing it to drive him out? Were they doing it to burn the house down around him? We don't know. These are all questions that need to be asked.

MCMAHON: I can tell that you that it was not on purpose. We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out. The tear gas canisters that we used does generate a lot of heat. We introduced those canisters into the residence, and a fire erupted.

KAYE: There are also questions about why authorities couldn't find Dorner when he had been hiding right under their noses. The cabin where he was holed up was just across the street from one sheriff's command center, and only two miles from another.

As the showdown ended, there were no celebrations as thoughts turned to grieving families.

REGINA CRAIN, WIFE OF SLAIN POLICE OFFICER MICHAEL CRAIN: A lot of people loved Mike. And I knew I would have support no matter what. But I really did not realize the sheer scale of this, and how many people are touched by his life.

KAYE: Sadness that four lives were taken. But relief that Christopher Dorner's reign of terror has finally ended.

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