Ray Suarez talks with Frank Stoltze of Southern California Public Radio about the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, a former police officer believed to be on a deadly shooting spree. Dorner is thought to have killed the daughter of a police officer and her boyfriend and may be stalking people he named in an online manifesto.
RAY SUAREZ: Law enforcement authorities say they believe Dorner is stalking people he named in an online manifesto. For more, I am joined by Frank Stoltze, who has been covering the story for Southern California Public Radio.
Frank Stoltze, welcome.
Have you ever seen a response of this side and could you describe its extent?
FRANK STOLTZE, Southern California Public Radio: It's an extraordinary response.
As you mentioned, thousands of police officers, not just with the Los Angeles Police Department, but with agencies throughout Southern California, are searching for Dorner, and several law enforcement officers have told me this is the biggest ever manhunt, ever.
And so the reason for this is because he has law enforcement training and he's also a former military man who has military training, and that's what makes him so dangerous. Obviously, he's already killed three people and he has said in this manifesto that he intends to kill more.
RAY SUAREZ: Looking again at that manifesto, is this also an explanation for the roots of his anger? These are being call revenge killings. Does it begin with his dismissal from the Los Angeles Police Department?
FRANK STOLTZE: It seems to.
He was fired in 2008. And he was fired because he lied about a fellow officer. He claimed that that officer beat up a suspect, and the department found that he lied about that and fired him. And the first victim -- or one of the first two victims in this case is the daughter of a retired LAPD captain who represented him in that disciplinary hearing.
And so he feels like this captain, this former captain sort of helped him out of the department, failed to properly defend him, and that's why he killed his daughter and her boyfriend. And that does seem to be the beginning of it in 2008. Why he launched the killing spree now is unknown.
RAY SUAREZ: There have been reported sightings over a broad area. What's the most recent place that he's been reliably located?
FRANK STOLTZE: Well, this is one of the other interesting aspects of this case. He was reported in San Diego, reportedly tried to steal a boat and flee to Mexico. The rope got tied into the propeller, and so he was unable to get away.
He was reported to have been at the airport. His -- some of his belongings were found at the San Diego Airport. And now in the last hour or so, he -- his truck was found burning up at Big Bear. They haven't confirmed that it's his truck, but it matches all the descriptions of his truck.
So now police are focusing their manhunt in the mountains above Los Angeles, the San Bernardino Mountains. It is snowy. They have SWAT teams up there. They have closed the very popular ski resort, the Big Bear ski resort, and they are focusing now on -- in the snowy mountains of San Bernardino.
RAY SUAREZ: One thing he hasn't done is gone to ground, gone to silence. Along with this manifesto you mentioned, he's apparently been contacting well-known people in Southern California. Are they watching those people closely or giving them extra protection?
FRANK STOLTZE: They're mostly focusing the protection on the police officers and their families that he named in that manifesto that he said he would kill.
In fact, more than 40 special protection details have been sent out by the Los Angeles Police Department to protect people. And so they're worried that he will show up, not just at some of these homes, but also at police facilities. They have beefed up security at police headquarters, at the police academy, at all police stations.
And, in fact, they're not even allowing motorcycle officers to go out because they're afraid that they're more vulnerable, and all patrol cars now are staffed by two, not one, officer.
RAY SUAREZ: You mentioned the large number of personnel being devoted to this task, this search. But Southern California is a vast area and, of course, parts of western Arizona as well. How do you look for a guy? Have police described what they're up to in keeping an eye out for Mr. Dorner?
FRANK STOLTZE: Well, first of all, you put a lot of resources, a lot of manpower, and that's what they have done, again, thousands of officers.
But it's interesting. One official mentioned the anti-terrorism center here in Southern California, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, and that that -- that that center is the one that sent out sort of the all-points bulletin for Dorner yesterday. And so it seems like they're using not just local resources, but federal resources, like even anti-terrorism sources.
RAY SUAREZ: Southern California Public Radio's Frank Stoltze, thanks for joining us.