(LOS ANGELES) — More than 100 police officers headed into the San Bernardino Mountains on Saturday searching for suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD officer who has vowed “warfare” against the department.
The search was temporarily halted Friday due to blizzard conditions in the area, but after a foot of snow fell overnight, officers were searching hundreds of cabins in the Big Bear Lake on Saturday and were using helicopters with thermal imaging technology to find Dorner.
“We’re going to continue searching until we find he either left the mountain or we find him, one or the other,” San Bernardino, Calif., County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.
On Thursday, Dorner’s burned pick-up truck was found in the Big Bear area, prompting a lockdown of local schools and the temporary shutdown of the Bear Ski Resort. However, footprints initially thought to be Dorner’s were determined to actually be tracks from a cross country skier.
Officials also searched property owned by Dorner’s mother in nearby Arrowbear, but they found no sign of Dorner there.
“Unless he is an expert in living in the California mountains in this time of year, he is going to be hurting,” said former Navy SEAL Clint Sparks, who now works in tactical training and security. “Cold is a huge stress factor. … Not everybody is survivor-man.”
Police released the last known pictures of Dorner on Friday. The photos were taken two weeks ago from a surveillance camera in Orange County, close to where his first two victims were found.
The 33-year-old former Los Angeles police officer and Navy reservist sparked a region-wide manhunt after allegedly shooting and killing a couple in Irvine, Calif. The woman killed in the shooting was the daughter of former Los Angeles Police Captain Randy Quan, who represented Dorner in disciplinary hearings that ended with Dorner being fired.
Dorner also released an angry “manifesto” that warned of coming violence towards cops and listed extensive grievances with the LAPD.
“Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over. Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family,” Dorner wrote in his manifesto.
On Thursday Dorner is believed to have opened fire on two officers, killing one.
“He has a great deal of training and experience in using both offensive and defensive tactics,” said Justin Gombos, who served with Dorner in the military.
Dorner is believed to be heavily armed, possibly with a powerful .50 caliber rifle that can pierce bullet-proof vests. His knowledge of police tactics has law enforcement officials “deeply concerned” according to ABC News sources.
“If someone’s got background in law enforcement, they’ve trained in tactics, they’re going to have the knowledge and ability to predict our actions more than somebody that hasn’t,” Mike Parker, a captain with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department told ABCNews.com affiliate KABC-TV.
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