Nightly News   |  February 08, 2013

Snow stymies ex-cop manhunt

The tense search for a former cop, who police say killed three people and vowed to murder more, continued for a second day. Tactical officers swarmed a mountain resort three hours outside LA, but so far the suspect has eluded capture. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> while all of this has been going on, on the other coast, a massive drama continues. the manhunt goes on for a former police officer , a military veteran , who is now targeting police officers and their families. the focus tonight is in the snowy mountains outside los angeles . but people are nervous and supposed sightings of the suspect have been reported and set off alarms as far south as the mexican border all day long. nbc's miguel almaguer with us once again from the heavily fortified lapd headquarters. miguel , good evening.

>> reporter: brian, good evening. with a search in day two, the mood remains tense at lapd . helicopters have been hovering in and around this area all day long, while police focus their search earlier today, some 115 miles away from here. more than 100 tactical officers swarmed the mountains three hours outside of los angeles . blinded by 10 inches of snow and facing frigid cold, they found no one.

>> search permit!

>> reporter: earlier, s.w.a.t. teams clear 400 cabins, one by one. a high-powered military like response to hunt down accused cop killer , christopher dorner.

>> our folks are highly trained and this is what we trained for.

>> reporter: dorner's burnt-out truck was discovered thursday. so were his footprints, say police , but his trail has gone cold. walter slept with an axe for protection.

>> we had all the kids sleep with us last night. i couldn't sleep. the dogs barked all night. scary.

>> reporter: near los angeles , police searched dorner's mother's home, but made no arrest. the former lapd officer is accused of murdering three. among the victims, a memorial for a 34-year-old riverside police officer who can't be named because police fear dorner will go after his loved ones.

>> this individual has a history of targeting family. and so who knows? we don't want to take a risk he may target the family of an officer he's already killed or wounded.

>> reporter: in dorner's chilling manifesto, he names officers and families he's targeted for revenge for being fired. he writes now you will live the life of prey.

>> what spikes this case, the fact that he has named specific individuals. so you could be mad at god, mad at life, mad at your employer. but when you start to name specific people, that is when we get extremely concerned.

>> reporter: with police on tactical alert, everyone is jumpy. along the mexico border, a two-hour traffic jam as officers search for dorner. outside a san diego gym, a case of mistaken identity when police question a man who matched the suspect's description. today, the l.a. county jail, where dorner's ex-wife works, went into lockdown after a false sighting.

>> i'm fearful. i don't really want to be here right now.

>> reporter: tonight in cities and in the mountains, there's fear. police say it's not if, but when will the cop killer strike again. and while this massive manhunt pushes on, the lapd says six officers who opened fire on a vehicle that matched the suspect's description but was not his car have been put on paid administrative leave. two people, including a 71-year-old woman and her daughter, were shot by officers. tonight they have attained an attorney. brian?

>> incredible story unfolding in southern california . miguel almaguer in l.a., thanks.