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Search resumes for fugitive ex-cop

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 (UPI) — A ground search resumed Saturday in the Big Bear mountains near Los Angeles for a former police officer wanted in the deaths of three people, police said.

The massive manhunt for Christopher Jordan Dorner has focused on the resort area since Thursday, when his pickup was found in flames on a forest road between Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski resorts.

Dorner is accused of killing the daughter of a retired LAPD captain and her fiance. He also is alleged to have shot three police officers, one fatally, in Riverside County.

Police say Dorner, 33, is seeking revenge on those he blames for being fired from the LAPD four years ago.

Police do not know that Dorner is hiding in the mountains — where more than 100 searchers Friday had to deal with heavy snowfall and blustery winter winds — but he learned to hunt in the Utah wilderness and his mother owns property about 35 miles from where his truck was found, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The National Weather Service forecast overnight lows temperatures in the mid teens, with a wind chill factor of 6 below zero, the newspaper said.

SWAT teams went door to door, checking hundreds of homes and cabins, while other officers slogged through the snow with dogs, searching an 8-square-mile area.

The tension surrounding the search resulted in Los Angeles police officers shooting two women who were delivering newspapers Thursday morning in Torrance.

Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, were in a vehicle officers initially thought matched the description of Dorner’s gray Nissan Titan. Police did not realize until after they stopped shooting the vehicle was a blue Toyota Tacoma, the Times reported Saturday.

Glen T. Jonas, an attorney for Hernandez and Carrera, said police issued “no commands, no instructions and no opportunity to surrender” before shooting.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back and Carrera was wounded by broken glass. Both are expected to recover.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called the shooting a “tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension.”

He said an investigation into the incident was just beginning and declined to say whether the officers issued any verbal warnings before they began shooting, how many officers were involved and how many shots were fired.

Citing law enforcement sources, the Times reported at least seven officers fire on the vehicle.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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