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Chaos and confusion: Standing in the footsteps of Christoper Dorner and his victims 5 years later

By in Press Enterprise on February 3, 2018

By David Whiting

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of three.

Standing on a rooftop garage in Irvine, near the spot where five years ago Saturday, Feb. 3, Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence became ex-cop Christopher Dorner’s first victims, is painful.

The soft glow of street lights can’t soften the memories of the two-week blitz of terror that began with their deaths.

David Whiting surveys the scene near where Monica Quan and her fianceŽ, Keith Lawrence, were found shot dead in Lawrence’s car outside their Irvine apartment complex five years ago, on February 2, 2013. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

It was 9:10 p.m., Feb. 3, 2013, when a passerby walked up to Lawrence’s car — its engine still running, headlights still shining — and found the couple slumped in their seats. Police eventually collected 14 shell casings and a gun suppressor, but there was another — initially mysterious — clue. Quan was the daughter of a LAPD Captain.

Now, nearly five years later, it’s again 9:10 p.m. Though this night will be far more peaceful, it’s still easy to imagine chaos and confusion bleeding out until sunrise.

If you lived in Southern California during the time of Dorner, you get it.

“The shocking whodunit facing Irvine police grew into a terrifying experience for all Southern California law enforcement personnel and their families,” reads a follow-up report from the National Police Foundation.

“Online threats by a rogue former LAPD officer were followed by lightning bolt attacks that killed one officer and wounded three others in different cities within an hour.”

The families of the dead still carry the pain. Murdered Riverside police Officer Michael Crain and Yucaipa San Bernardino County sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay live on, but only in spirit.


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