Christopher Dorner Biography

(Former Officer of the Los Angeles Police Department Who Committed a Series of Shootings)

Birthday: June 4, 1979 (Gemini)

Born In: New York, United States

Christopher Dorner was a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department who, in the span of nine days in early February 2013, committed a series of shootings in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County, California, killing four people and injuring three others. A US Navy veteran, he was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for reporting against his training officer for alleged use of excessive force during an arrest. His first victim was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain who was his attorney in the investigation that led to his dismissal. In a manifesto that he posted online, Dorner had declared a crusade against LAPD officers and their relatives using "unconventional and asymmetric warfare" in order to clear his name and expose racism within the police force. In the ensuing manhunt, the police shot at and injured three civilians mistaking their pickup trucks for Dorner’s vehicle, but none of the officers were charged with any crime. Dorner died from self-inflicted gunshot wound during a final stand-off at a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Christopher Jordan Dorner

Died At Age: 33


Spouse/Ex-: April Carter (m. 2007–2007)

Partner: Nancy Dorner

Born Country: United States

Black Criminals Serial Killers

Died on: February 12, 2013

place of death: Angelus Oaks, California, United States

Childhood & Early Life

Christopher Jordan Dorner was born on June 4, 1979 in New York, United States, but grew up in Southern California, where he moved to with his mother Nancy and sisters at an early age.  He attended Cypress High School in Cypress, California, from where he graduated in 1997.

He was the only black student from first grade to seventh grade, and often faced racial abuse. He had determined to “not tolerate racial derogatory terms” after, following a fight with a student in the first grade, the principal punished the student, but also chastised Dorner for not turning the other cheek.

He was still a teenager when he decided to become a police officer and joined a youth program offered by the police department in La Palma with the aim of becoming an officer eventually. He later recalled in his “manifesto” sticking up for a fellow cadet in the police academy and placing another recruit in a choke hold for using a racial slur.

In 2001, he completed a major in political science and a minor in psychology from Southern Utah University, where he was a reserve football running back from 1999 to 2000. It was later revealed that he was married but his wife had filed for divorce in 2007.

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Early Career

After completing education, Christopher Dorner enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve, where he was trained in combat techniques and counter-terrorism, and was recognized for his shooting skills. He was commissioned in 2002, following which he commanded a security unit at the Naval Air Station Fallon and served with a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit from June 2004 to February 2006.

He was deployed to Bahrain with Coastal Riverine Group Two from November 2006 to April 2007 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant before being honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve on February 1, 2013. During his service, he received several decorations and honors including the Iraq Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon and the Pistol Expert Medal.

While still in the Navy Reserve, he applied to join the LAPD in 2005 and completed his training in 2006. He later began duty as a probationary officer in July 2007 after returning from Bahrain.

He was paired with training officer Teresa Evans and reportedly told her on the first day that he was planning to sue LAPD because of how it treated his previous complaints against classmates. According to Evans, she told him to improve his paperwork and in retaliation, he filed a report alleging that Evans had used excessive force while arresting Christopher Gettler, a schizophrenic with severe dementia.

In the ensuing investigation, Gettler’s father testified that his son told him he had been kicked by a police officer, but three other witnesses mentioned the kick never happened. Dorner was represented by attorney and former LAPD captain Randal Quan in the investigation which concluded that Dorner lied about the kick.

In 2008, LAPD fired Dorner for making false statements in his report and in his testimony against Evans, following which Quan stated that Dorner was treated unfairly and was being made a scapegoat. He appealed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court which believed in LAPD's accusations despite not knowing if the kick happened, thus infuriating Dorner, whose appeal to the California Court of Appeal was also unsuccessful.

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Killings & Manhunt

On February 1, 2013, CNN broadcaster Anderson Cooper received a package at his office containing a DVD stating Christopher Dorner's case against the LAPD and a bullet-riddled challenge coin meant to boast his shooting skills.

On February 3, 2013 evening, 28-year-old Monica Quan, daughter of former LAPD captain Randal Quan who previously represented Dorner, and her fiancé were shot dead in their parked car in Irvine, California.

His “manifesto”, in which he stated that his motive for the shootings was to clear his name and that he will not be alive to see it, was posted on Facebook on February 4. Irvine police announced on February 6 that they were looking for Dorner as the prime suspect in the killings, and that evening Dorner tried to steal a boat from a San Diego marina.

On February 7, 2013, two LAPD officers assigned to protect a person named in the manifesto chased Dorner's suspected vehicle in Corona, resulting in a shootout in which one officer was grazed in the forehead. Minutes later, two officers of the Riverside Police Department, who had stopped at a red light for routine patrol, were ambushed by gunman, possibly Dorner, and shot at, killing one and critically injuring the other.

A burned pickup truck was found near the Big Bear ski area in the San Bernardino Mountains and was later confirmed to be Dorner’s, following which a door-to-door search began in the surrounding area. LAPD announced on February 9 that it was re-opening its investigation into Dorner's dismissal, and the following day, authorities offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of Dorner.

On February 12, 2013 officers from numerous agencies chased Dorner to a cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, where he opened fire on two officers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and killed one. Police demanded him to surrender and used tear gas to force him out before knocking down most walls of the building with a demolition vehicle and then tossing pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the cabin.

The devices, nicknamed "burners" for causing excessive heat and often fires, caused a fire that continued as ammunitions from within the building started to explode. Shortly after it was used, a single gunshot was heard from the cabin, and a charred body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head was later recovered and identified as Dorner's.


Christopher Dorner, during his training Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma, found and returned a bag containing nearly US$8,000 belonging to the Enid Korean Church of Grace. He had mentioned the importance of integrity in military training as his motivation, further stating that his mother taught him honesty and integrity.

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