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Chemistry teacher Linda Dillard awoke at 5:10 a.m. this morning to the sound of gunshots being fired outside her house.
Dillard’s house was caught in a flurry of bullets as LAPD officers opened fire on a blue pickup truck they thought ex-police officer Christopher Dorner was affiliated with.
“I shouldn’t have peeked out my windows, but I did, and there were the cops in my driveway, shooting. [After that,] we just heard a lot of police orders, but the shooting was over,” Dillard said.
Dorner, who was fired from the police force in 2008 for making false statements about his training officer, put up an online manifesto in which he threatened to wage “unconventional and asymmetric warfare” against the LAPD, according to the LA Times. He is suspected in the murder of three people: one police officer, the daughter of a police officer, and her fiance.
LAPD officers were in Dillard’s neighborhood to protect an officer named in the manifesto for his hand in getting Dorner fired from the police force.
However, the vehicle the LAPD officers shot at did not belong to Dorner. The truck belonged to two women delivering newspapers. According to the Daily Breeze, one was shot in the hand, the other in the back, but they are not in critical condition.
About an hour after the shooting, the police informed Dillard and her husband that they would be unable to drive their cars to work as they were now a part of the crime scene. As a result, college and career counselor Shannon Rodriguez drove her to school.
“It was unusual for me. Teachers don’t usually call each other so early in the morning, so immediately I thought something was wrong,” Rodriguez said. “She tells me her car has been pummelled by bullets and that she can’t leave her house without an escort, and I’m thinking, ‘I don’t believe this; things like this don’t happen.’”
When Rodriguez arrived at Dillard’s neighborhood, she was unable to get near the house because it was surrounded by police cruisers and news channel vans.
“I had no idea what was going on because I hadn’t seen the news that morning. Dillard hadn’t told me anything on the phone, so once I got there and looked around, I just thought to myself, ‘This is serious.’ Her husband’s car looked like swiss cheese,” she said.
Dillard said her husband heard about 100 rounds fired, some of which hit their property.
“Our cars, our garage door, and our house were hit,” Dillard said. “My husband’s car windows were hit and there were several bullets in the car. My car only had one bullet in it.”
Dillard feels “fortunate” that she was safe in her bedroom, located in the back of her house, at the time of the shooting.
“I was planning to wake up early this morning around 5 o’clock a.m. and go for a walk. In the end, I decided against it,” she said.
According to Los Angeles Times, Christopher Dorner is a black, 33-year-old male who is 6 feet tall and 270 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. At the time of the shooting, he was thought to be driving a 2005 blue or black Nissan Titan and switching between the license plates 8D83987 and 7X09131. However, a burning truck was found near Big Bear Lake that matched the description of his vehicle.
Police now have Big Bear, Running Springs, Arrowbear, and Twin Peaks under lockdown and believe Dorner is hiding in the San Bernardino area. Police have warned the general public to stay alert and call 911 immediately if he is spotted.
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