Fired Los Angeles Police Department Officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, who has been the target of a massive week-long police manhunt and is suspected of killing a total of three people, was charged Monday in Riverside County with capital murder for the shooting death of Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain.
Crain, who lived in Beaumont and worked for the Riverside Police Department, had deep roots in Southern California—as he was born in Anaheim, raised in the Riverside area, and graduated from Redlands High School, according to police. He served two tours in Kuwait as a Marine and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, where he taught Military Operations in Urban Terrain.
Crain's life was cut short Thursday, Feb. 7, when police say he was gunned down while stopped at a traffic signal in Riverside, on routine patrol. He was 34.
"This was the first marked unit that he observed," Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz said at Monday's press conference, re-iterating the fact that authorities do not believe Dorner had any connection to Crain.
At Monday's press conference, Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach announced Dorner has been charged with one count of murder, along with two special circumstance allegations for the murder of a peace officer and the discharge of a firearm from a vehicle.
Those special circumstance enhancements make Dorner eligible for the death penalty, according to the District Attorney's office, who added that a no-bail warrant has also been issued for Dorner.
"Now that we have a no bail warrant out for his arrest, that allows him to be apprehended anywhere: within California, out of state, out of the country," Zellerbach said. "So that assists law enforcement universally to have that complaint filed against [Dorner] and to have that warrant in the justice system.”
"In this case, it’s quite clear that an officer was murdered during the course and scope of his employment as a police officer, plus that Mr. Dorner shot his firearm from his vehicle-- both of which are characterized as separate special circumstances-- and that’s why we filed both of them.”
Three attempted murder charges were also filed in Riverside County, as it's believed Dorner shot at two Los Angeles Police Department officers in Corona 15-20 minutes prior to the Riverside shooting. The third attempted murder charge is for Crain's partner, who remains hospitalized.
"The two LAPD officers were in Corona to provide protection for someone Dorner has named in his so-called manifesto," DA spokesman John Hall said. "One officer was grazed on the head and the second uninjured in that shooting."
Dorner is also suspected of the Feb. 3 killing of 28-year-old college basketball assistant coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old Keith Lawrence, whose bodies were found in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.
Orange County prosecutors have not announced any charges against Dorner, although an arrest warrant was issued under seal by a Superior Court judge on Wednesday. According to a federal arrest warrant affidavit filed Thursday, that arrest warrant notes that Dorner has been charged with multiple counts of murder.
On Sunday, a $1 million reward was announced by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for information leading to Dorner's arrest and conviction.
-City News Service contributed to this report.