orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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February 9, 2013

Hunt for ex-officer centers in snowy CA mountains

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — The hunt for Christopher Dorner in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains is expected to resume at daybreak Saturday, when authorities hope clearer skies will allow airplanes to help them in their search.

Relentless snowfall on Friday grounded helicopters with heat-sensing technology and hampered their effort to find the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of going on a deadly rampage to get back at those he blamed for ending his career.

After they found his burned-out pickup truck near at this ski resort town Thursday afternoon, SWAT teams in camouflage started scouring the mountains, aware to the reality they could be walking into a trap set by the well-trained former Navy reservist who knows their tactics and strategies as well as they do.

"He can be behind every tree," said T. Gregory Hall, a retired tactical supervisor for a special emergency response team for the Pennsylvania State Police. "He can try to draw them into an ambush area where he backtracks."

As authorities weathered heavy snow and freezing temperatures in the mountains, thousands of heavily armed police remained on the lookout throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and northern Mexico for a suspect bent on revenge and willing to die.

Police said officers still were guarding more than 40 people mentioned as targets in a rant they said Dorner posted on Facebook. He vowed to use "every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance and survival training I've been given" to bring "warfare" to the LAPD and its families.

The manhunt had Southern California residents on edge. Unconfirmed sightings were reported near Barstow, about 60 miles north of the mountain search, and in downtown Los Angeles.

Some law enforcement officials said he appeared to be everywhere and nowhere, and speculated that he was trying to spread out their resources.

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