Nightly News   |  February 07, 2013

Manhunt underway for ex-cop shooter

Described as ‘one of the more dangerous shooters we’ve seen in a long time,’ police say 33-year-old Christopher Dorner has already killed three people and is gunning for more. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> now back to southern california , where a life and death police drama has been playing out there as we said all day. it's been a tense day throughout that state. this massive manhunt has been underway for a former police officer , a military veteran, a skilled marksman, suspected of murdering three people already, shooting four police officers himself. and trying to hunt down even more. the situation is on the move as we speak. nbc's miguel almaguer is with us. miguel , what do we know.

>> reporter: brian , good evening. lapd says they are at war tonight with a man targeting law enforcement officers . 33-year-old christopher dorner, said to be a cop-killer, has said he will not stop the killings until he's dead. tonight, thousands of police officers are hunting for a man that used to be one of their own. tactical teams spread across nine counties in southern california .

>> of course he knows what he's doing. we trained him.

>> reporter: he's heavily armed and extremely dangerous . police say former lapd officer christopher dorner has already killed three and is gunning for more.

>> this has gone far enough. nobody else needs to die.

>> reporter: fired from the force in 2009 for allegedly making false statements , dorner says his dismissal was unjust. police say he names those he's targeting in this chilling manifesto, published online. the lapd has suppress the truth and it has now led to deadly consequences.

>> he's probably one of the more dangerous shooters we've seen in a long time. he has a combination of the will to do what he's doing, the ability to do it, and no particular desire to survive.

>> reporter: on sunday, police say dorner murdered monica kwan and keith lawrence in a revenge killing. kwan is the daughter of a former police captain who represented dorner in his disciplinary hearing. detectives say he tried to steal a boat near san diego , possibly trying to flee to mexico. a badge, his i.d. and wallet were found in the area.

>> suspect vehicle still outstanding. it's a black nissan titan .

>> reporter: with a massive manhunt under way at 1:25 this morning, two lapd police officers assigned to protect the person named in the manifesto come under fire. one officer is grazed in the head.

>> officer shot! multiple times!

>> reporter: a short time later, a gunman opens fire on two riverside police officers . one is killed, the other critically injured.

>> other officers were stopped at an intersection at a red light when they were ambushed.

>> reporter: with tensions high, police opened fire on a truck mistakenly believed to be dorner's. two women delivering newspapers are shot and injured.

>> tragically, we believe this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers.

>> reporter: near san diego , a navy facility was locked down when someone matched dorner's description. a false alarm . but late today, law enforcement officials say they found dorner's burned-out vehicle. s.w.a.t. teams swarmed the area near a ski resort , warning vacationers to stay in their rooms. but tonight, no sign of the suspect. that massive manhunt up in the mountains and here in the city does continue. and brian , take a look at the officers here at lapd . they are armed with their shotguns in addition to their side pistols. they have also been told those officers who ride motorcycles on the streets, they have been pulled into squad cars for their protection. brian ?

>> miguel almaguer from southern california , as they head into a tense night. miguel , thanks.