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Christopher Dorner may have fled to Mexico, say feds

2:30 PM, Feb 12, 2013   |    comments
Christopher Dorner. (Photo: Irvine Police Department Press)
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Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

Federal authorities suspect that a former Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with three killings has fled to Mexico, according to a federal criminal complaint.

The complaint was filed in federal court last week against Christopher Dorner, who has been on the run since allegedly going on a revenge-driven shooting spree Feb. 6 in Southern California.

More than 1,000 tips have come in since Los Angeles offered a $1 million reward, raised from public and private sources.

The manhunt for Dorner, 33, began last Wednesday when he was named the suspect in the Orange County killings of a former Los Angeles police captain's daughter and her fiance the previous weekend.

Hours after police announced they were looking for him, Dorner allegedly fired at LAPD officers, then ambushed two Riverside officers, killing one.

Dorner has issued an angry manifesto online charging rampant racism in the LAPD and charging that he was wrongly dismissed for giving false evidence.

He vowed deadly revenge on those in the LAPD responsible for his firing years earlier, and their families. Police now are providing protection for some 50 families thought to be targets.

The search has been particularly urgent because of Dorner's U.S. Navy military training as a sharpshooter. He has also been trained in underwater warfare.

TMZ reported Monday that surveillance video showing a man fitting Dorner's description bought scuba gear at at sporting goods store in Torrance, Calif., two days before the killing spree began.

TMZ reported that police have obtained the video and quoted an unidentified law enforcement source as confirming that Dorner is the man shown in the footage.

TMZ quoted one law enforcement source as saying the video is significant because "it shows what he was up to."

The criminal complaint also says that authorities were tracking a Dorner associate identified only as "J.Y.," who had been spotted in Costa Mesa.

The manhunt, which has covered several states, focused at one point on a resort ski area 80 miles east of Los Angeles, after Dorner's burned-out pickup was found at Big Bear Lake.

The criminal complaint, filed Feb. 7, said that on that day, police spoke with a boat captain in San Diego who reported that a man fitting Dorner's description had subdued him and tried to steal a boat, telling the owner that he was taking it to Mexico, where it could be recovered. The suspect fled after the bow line of the boat got caught in its propeller and stalled.

The complaint also notes that Dorner's personal belongings, including his wallet and I.D. cards, were found near the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Ysidro Point of Entry. In addition, the complaint alleges, a man matching Dorner's description tried to gain access to the Point Loma naval base in San Diego.

Based on its evidence, Craig McClusky, of the U.S. Marshals Service, said in the complaint that there is "probable cause" to believe that Dorner has "moved and traveled in interstate and foreign commerce from California to Mexico with the intent to avoid prosecution."

Investigators raided the Hotel Tapatio in Tijuana Monday looking for Dorner, but turned up no evidence on the property concerning the fugitive, ABC10 in San Diego reported. More than 20 officers searched the hotel following a tip from the public.

Christopher Dorner Complaint by

 

Christopher Dorner Complaint by

 

USA TODAY

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