Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support local and independent journalism by making a gift to NHPR today.

Ex-LAPD Officer May Have Stalked Targets Before Killing Spree


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says the department's former officer, Christopher Dorner, did his homework.

CHARLIE BECK: And that homework, no doubt, included physical surveillance. There are some indications that he may have been at several homes.

SIEGLER: Speaking today at LAPD headquarters, Beck was joined by an officer police say was one of Dorner's primary targets. Captain Phil Tingirides chaired the police department's Board of Rights when it recommended Dorner's firing. He and his wife, also an LAPD officer, and their six kids hunkered down in their Orange County home for several days during the manhunt.

CAPTAIN PHIL TINGIRIDES: I've had a number of threats. I've been involved in some very significant situations. I've been shot at, and you accept that.

SIEGLER: But Tingirides said this was different.

TINGIRIDES: When you get a phone call, and they tell you that somebody's after your family and within a very short distance of your home they've already killed somebody else's daughter, it made me sick to my stomach.

SIEGLER: Tingirides was referring to Michelle Quan, the daughter of the man who represented Christopher Dorner during those Board of Rights hearings. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The name of the woman Tingirides was referring to is MONICA Quan.] Authorities believe Dorner ambushed and killed Quan and her fiance near their condo as an act of vengeance.

In his apparent online manifesto, Dorner had railed against the LAPD for his firing, but he also described a culture of widespread racism and intimidation of whistleblowers. During the manhunt, Chief Charlie Beck announced he was ordering a reexamination of the circumstances that led to Dorner being fired. And today, Beck pledged that will continue even if it's largely symbolic.

BECK: Christopher Dorner's life or death has nothing to do with the re-examination. You know, I worry, and I have worked very hard, as have the 13,000 members of this police department, at improving community relations, especially race relations in Los Angeles.

SIEGLER: Beck maintains the department has changed since the days of Rodney King, but nevertheless, he says Dorner's allegations need to be investigated in full view of the public. Another lingering issue for law enforcement: what to do with the $1 million reward offered for any information leading to Dorner's arrest, now that he's dead. Chief Beck said that decision could be weeks away, but he added emphatically the reward money will get distributed, possibly to a number of people.

BECK: It is my desire that the reward money be used. We generated countless tips because of it.

SIEGLER: As Beck was giving his update on the Dorner investigation today, his counterparts to the south in Orange County were beginning another. Police say there, this morning, a man shot a woman dead, then went on a carjacking spree, killing two more people, before killing himself on the side of a busy freeway. Kirk Siegler, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: February 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
We incorrectly identify one of Christopher Dorner's victims as Michelle Quan. Her name is Monica Quan.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.