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Sunday, Feb. 3, Monica Quan, 28, a college assistant women's basketball coach, and her fiancé, USC public safety officer Keith Lawrence, 27, are found shot to death in a car parked in a structure at their condominium in Irvine, Calif. Investigators initially suspect it's a random robbery, but soon a lead emerges that will send shock waves through police departments nationwide.
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Cop on a Rampage?
Three days after the murder, police have a suspect. Christopher Dorner, 33, a former LAPD officer, is suspecting of killing the couple because Quan's father was a police captain who represented Dorner in disciplinary hearings resulting in his dismissal. In an online manifesto, Dorner claims he was wrongly fired in 2009 after he tried to expose abusive and racist officers. Vowing violent revenge, his targets are current and former cops.
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THE KILLING DOESN'T STOP
After failing to steal a boat in San Diego on Wednesday night, Dorner attacks more victims – this time police officers, according to authorities. He allegedly shoots at LAPD officers protecting one of his targets, grazing one officer in the head, then escapes after shooting up the patrol car. Half an hour later, he allegedly ambushes two officers in Riverside, Calif., killing one and sending the other to the hospital.
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L.A. area freeway message signs urge drivers to look out for Dorner's Nissan pickup. The vehicle is later found in flames on a snowy road in the local mountain resort city of Big Bear Lake, where a door-to-door search with dogs yields no sign of him while law enforcement officers remain edgy. In Torrance, Calif., officers open fire on a pickup matching the description of Dorner's, wounding two women delivering newspapers.
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While Dorner is at large, officials worry about his deadly military and police skills. "Of course he knows what he's doing, we trained him," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says. Finally on Tuesday, Dorner is found in the Big Bear area, where he engages in a shootout, killing one more policeman, at a remote cabin before the cabin bursts into flames. A body believed to be his is found.