At 2 a.m. today, alleged triple-murderer and LAPD ex-cop Christopher Dorner's disgraced badge and ID were found in a bag near Lindbergh Field in San Diego by an airport shuttle driver. Shortly after that, police found items they believe are Dorner's in a trash can in National City outside of San Diego.
The eerie findings suggested to some that this was a man with nothing left to lose. They unnerved area residents, coming as they did on the heels of Dorner's alleged attack on an elderly boater at Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego. The boater told police …
… he was tied up at gunpoint by a large black man matching Dorner's description and ordered to take him by boat to Mexico. But as the man's 42-foot cruiser was disembarking, a rope tangled in the propeller and the boat couldn't move. The suspect fled. The unidentified elderly man lived to tell the tale.
Kristina Davis, a reporter at daily newspaper San Diego UT, told L.A. Weekly:
“The police are telling the community to stay alert. The public is calling in tons of potential sightings. The San Diego Police are checking them out. The merchants near the naval base said the police activity freaked them out. … Major reaction was just kind of central to the area around the naval base.”
Officials believe that Dorner, a Naval reservist who may hold current military ID, was staying at the Navy Gateway Inn near Naval Base Point Loma in the San Diego area on Tuesday. Tipped-off by a nervous employee at the hotel, police descended upon a man who turned out to not be the suspect.
As reports of Dorner's alleged killing rampage in the Inland Empire and Orange County spread through the San Diego area, police also responded to call from a nearby Holiday Inn, where a man with a similar description was reported — another false alarm.
“We do not know if in fact he's in the San Diego area,” said Capt. Terry McManus today at a briefing at San Diego's downtown police headquarters.
This morning, another possible Dorner sighting — this one at Naval Base Point Loma, where authorities feared he might have access to the military base thanks to his credentials — sparked a highly unusual lock-down of the base. All personnel were ordered to remain inside their housing.
Agencies involved in the pursuit of Dorner in and around San Diego have multiplied by the hour.
They include the FBI, U.S. Marshals, San Diego Police Department, California Highway Patrol, various harbor police, military police and San Diego County Sheriff's Department. The California Highway Patrol has issued a “Blue Alert” for nine California counties and Nevada Highway Patrol issued a statewide “High Alert” at 8:30 a.m. today.