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California rogue ex-cop eludes manhunt

AP
Members of the California Highway Patrol search a truck for Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer accused of carrying out a killing spree because he felt he was unfairly fired from his job, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Big Bear Lake, Calif. AP photo

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 10:15 p.m.
 

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. — All that was left were footprints leading away from Christopher Dorner's burned pickup truck and enormous, snow-covered mountains where he could be hiding among hundreds of cabins, deep canyons and dense woods.

More than 100 officers, including SWAT teams, were driven on Friday in glass-enclosed snow machines and armored personnel carriers to hunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of going on a deadly rampage to get back at those he blamed for ending his police career.

With bloodhounds in tow, officers went door to door as snow fell, aware of the reality that 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.

“The bad guy is out there, he has a certain time on you, and a distance. How do you close that?” asked T. Gregory Hall, a retired tactical supervisor for a special emergency response team for the Pennsylvania State Police.

“The bottom line is when he decides that he is going to make a stand, the operators are in great jeopardy,” Hall said.

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.

Police said officers 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.

Without the numbers that authorities have, Dorner holds one advantage: the element of surprise. “He can be behind every tree,” Hall said.

Even with training, days of cold and snow can be punishing. Former Navy SEAL Clint Sparks noted, “Cold is a huge stress factor. ... Not everybody is survivor-man.”

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