Once upon a time my little home town was put on the map by the national news and it was not for a good thing.
In 2013 we had a crazy and cold blooded cop killer on the loose in Southern California. In the few weeks that Chris Dorner was on the run he eventually ended up hiding out in the woods and cabins of my home town.
This is what happened.
This Whole Mountain is a Crime Scene
I woke up this morning at six A.M. to the chop, chop, chop of helicopter blades.
It’s okay Channel Five News, I don’t really enjoy my sleep.
I say that because I am tired and would have liked to have slept until at least seven, but I have been completely addicted to the news for almost twenty four hours now and obviously the helicopters hovering just a few miles from my house are trying to get the latest insight into the Christopher Dorner saga.
I just wish they could do it quieter.
I was up until one in the morning last night watching the news, inhaling as many detail’s as I possibly could.
Yesterday was an intense day for our local communities and it ended with yet another dead law enforcement agent. This time it was a local sheriff.
Yesterday morning as I drove the snowy roads around Lake Arrowhead I was having a conversation with my Mom about Chris Dorner and where he could possibly be.
This whole last week I kept telling coworkers that I was sure he was still in the mountains. There was just no sign that he had left. People keep saying
“Oh he set up his truck to explode as a diversion” And I keep saying
“Well if that was true Sheriffs would have found some evidence of him leaving the Big Bear Valley”
I also think it’s really weird how no foot prints were found that made any sense in that area. He ditched his burnt out truck on a dirt road that I have jogged up before. When some one has been walking around in this wet, snowy dirt they leave tracks. I can always tell when I am out running when another person or an animal has been nearby recently. The tracks are clear in the dirt. It just sounds like he must still be around this area, to me.
As I drove through our snowy mountain community with my Mom discussing where he might be, I said to her
“Well how do we know he hasn’t taken any one hostage and isn’t still up here in some ones home?” In about two hours time these would come to be chilling words.
Two hours later I was sitting on my couch addicted to the news. I was glued to the T.V. texting friends, relatives calling, and praying for the law enforcement officers who were out there trying to safe guard this small community.
The news had just broken that Chris Dorner took two woman hostage in Big Bear Lake and than had shot at two officers killing one.
An hour earlier I had been running near my forest home when I heard helicopters every where and sirens filled the quiet forest day.
On the news I watched black SWAT vehicles lights ablazing speeding up Highway 330, which is the highway I commute every day to work.
I couldn’t go to work at that point. All the local highways were closed. Sheriffs were saying the whole mountain community was a crime scene.
My brothers were both down in the valley working or going to school and would have no way to make it home that night if the highways were not reopened. Thousands of mountain commuters who work in the valley below were lining the edges of the bottom of Highway 330 anxious to know when the mountain roads would reopen and if they would be able to return home that night.
I called into work, telling them I had no idea if I would be able to go to work last night. Than as I sat watching the news I saw officers with guns searching every car coming off the mountain down Highway 330.
At this point they were pretty sure that after killing the one deputy in a gun fight and wounding another Christopher Dorner was barricaded in a cabin near Jenk’s Lake.
Officers couldn’t be completely sure though. Until they were completely sure they were checking every car with guns drawn. Watching this on the news was insane. I watched as officers ripped open the sliding door of a mini van…..
Was Chrisptoher Dorner inside?
No.. They were pointing their guns at a child, sitting in the backseat of the mini van. This is why law enforcement should not have been encouraging tourists to come to the mountains this last week!
I did have a good laugh as I watched the local news interviewing a snow boarder who had just left Snow Valley Resort and I had to imagine the two stoned snow boarders imaging themselves in the movie Super Troopers, coming upon all these Sheriffs waving guns around and thinking they were just so high it wasn’t real. (And than thinking they had to eat all their weed, cops coming at them quickly, guns drawn)
|Tried to get a shot of the SWAT vehicles, all I got was this undercover cop|
That was what I was thinking about as I sat glued to the T.V. and watched a cop climb onto a flat-bed tow truck with gun drawn checking out the suv that sat on the flat-bed.
As I continued glued to the news for the next few hours the facts of what had really happened became clear.
At 12:22 a stolen vehicle was driven from the cabin at Club View Drive. Christopher Dorner had been holed up at the cabin for days and had taken two maids hostage there. He stole their car yesterday afternoon and tried to flee the mountains. Apparently all that military and police training he had, had not prepared him to drive in the snow, as he crashed on the icy roads of Highway 38. (How was he ever a cop? This man was a horrible driver!)
He than car jacked a mountain resident and took the guy’s truck. Luckily he let the guy take his dog. He than was involved in a gun fight with sheriffs about a minute after that, wounding one, killing the other.
When I turned on my T.V. about two o clock I was overwhelmed by what I was seeing. There on the T.V. screen were the snowy mountains I loved so much. At this point the news made it sound like Dorner could be any where in that area of the forest and I was freaking out as my one buddy was hiking/ fishing/ off roading at Jenk’s Lake, which is about a mile from where the first shoot out occurred.
On the news they began to talk about how right before the news came about that Dorner was indeed in the mountains, alive and car jacking mountain residents the police had been searching a house in Arrow Bear Lake, just up the street from me, like six houses away, believing the guy who owned it was an associate of Dorner.
It was about this time that my buddy who is an EMT texted me from Loma Linda Hospital telling me that one of the deputies shot had died.
I was attached to the T.V. only looking away any time an emergency vehicle went speeding by my cabin lights ablazing. The aerial shot of the Jenk’s Lake Angeles Oaks area was showing SWAT and sheriffs every where and I was praying for the sheriffs officers I knew and the rest of our mountain community.
I started following what was going on via the police scanners online and it soon became clear that yes, he was in that cabin and this was ending here, today.
The police scanners were saying that seven oil bombs had been thrown into the building and on T.V. you could see the building on fire.
When I did eventually go into work last night hours later I told my coworkers that the police had set the cabin on fire and no one believed me. I told them, I was reading the text via the police scanners, this is what happened.
This morning when the news choppers woke me up at six A.M. the first thing I saw online as I lay in my warm bed, awake early and agitated, was an article online with the audio from the police scanners, clearly stating that police were setting the house on fire.
I love how this whole time for the last week that this has been going on people keep telling me I am wrong.
I didn’t want to run in the forest because it wasn’t safe.
My friends told me I was just being paranoid.
I told friends I think he’s still on the mountain and friends rolled their eyes and said, oh no he is long gone.
I thought of this again this morning as I’m once again glued to the T.V. and this ongoing saga in my home town.
This week I am linking up once again with A Beautiful Little Adventure
This week’s prompt is local celebrities or your towns claim to fame. I choose not to write about Pricilla Presley’s yard sale or Kevin Costner driving his motorcycle through the streets of our town. I thought I would write about what made national news here a few years ago.