Christopher Dorner targets receive police protection

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THE manhunt for a fugitive former police officer wanted for the murder of three people has stretched thin the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and put fear into southern California towns.

Police have been searching for Christopher Dorner, 33, since last week and protecting dozens of families considered targets based on his Facebook rant against those he held responsible for ending his career with the LAPD five years ago.

He was fired after a police inquiry found he had made false statements accusing a superior officer of using excessive force against a homeless person.

The department remained on tactical alert yesterday, which means officers are staying on duty beyond their shifts.

A $1 million (£640,000) reward offered for information leading to Dorner’s capture took authorities to a home improvement store over the weekend but has so far prompted no credible leads. Police are also looking into a taunting phone call to the father of the woman they believe Dorner killed last week. They are trying to determine whether he made the call telling retired police captain Randal Quan he should have done a better job protecting his daughter.

The bodies of Monica Quan and her fiancé were found shot dead last Sunday in Irvine, California. Things escalated last Thursday, when police say Dorner got into a shoot-out with police in Corona, grazing an LAPD officer’s head with a bullet before fleeing. It is thought he then used a rifle to ambush two other officers, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

The manhunt is now centred near the ski resort of Big Bear, where Dorner’s burned-out pick-up truck was found last Thursday.