The weeklong run by a fugitive ex-police officer, accused of four murders, appears to have come to a violent end in a smoldering mountain cabin on a snowy hillside in San Bernadino National Forest.
Authorities had conducted the massive manhunt for Christopher Dorner, who authorities say was targeting police officers and their families because he was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department four years ago. Over the weekend, a $1 million reward was offered for his capture.
Dorner was suspected of killing 28-year-old Monica Quan and her fiancé, campus security officer Keith Lawrence, 27, on Feb. 3 in Irvine, Calif. Quan’s father, Randal Quan, a retired LAPD captain who became an attorney, represented Dorner during his appeal of his dismissal from the police department and, in his rambling manifesto, Dorner accused Quan of being the reason he was terminated from his job.
On. Feb. 7, Riverside, Calif., police officer Michael Crain, 34, was killed and his partner injured when authorities say Dorner ambushed them while their patrol car was stopped at a red light.
After authorities tracked Dorner down to the mountain cabin, a fourth person — a sheriff’s deputy who was not immediately identified — was killed during the shoot-out Tuesday that preceded the conflagration of the cabin. A body, believed to be Dorner, was recovered from the ruins and officials say it may be days or weeks before DNA analysis can determine for certain that the corpse is Dorner, who had vowed in his rantings that he would exact revenge by waging “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against police.
This war appears to have ended and the cost has been four innocent lives.
The LAPD announced over the weekend that it is reopening Dorner’s case in which he was found to be lying when he accused his training officer of using excessive force against a homeless man after his training officer told Dorner he was receiving a poor training performance report.
A sad commentary on the mentality of many in America today, however, is the fact that Dorner had fans who not only accepted that he was the killer, but who cheered the murderous rampage. They believe he was wronged and that his homicidal retaliation was warranted as an acceptable form of vigilantism.
That is a disturbing rationalization for condoning hate and violence. If Dorner committed these crimes, as it looks like he did, he is a murderer — nothing more, and certainly nothing less. Losing a job, regardless of whether it’s unjustified, is no excuse for someone to go a killing spree, assassinating innocent people. And those who approve of this sick brand of barbaric vigilante justice are just as despicable.
This killer died in a blaze, but it was anything but a blaze of glory.