Dorner’s CLU connection hits home

The reign of terror may finally be over, but the effects of Christopher Dorner’s alleged killing spree will continue to haunt people.

“It’s just sad when you see these things happen,” said John Barrow, a student at CLU and a retired sergeant with the Inglewood Police Department. “Unfortunately, by repeatedly showing the same photos of him, now he has this cult following him.”

In early February, former LAPD Officer Dorner wrote a manifesto and began his hunt to get revenge on the people that he believed ruined his life.

CLU Media Relations Manager Karin Grennan confirmed in an email statement that Dorner attended California Lutheran University for one semester in the fall of 1997, although his major was undeclared.

Dorner allegedly murdered four people, including two police officers, leaving others wounded as well. People have been raising the question of whether or not Dorner’s motives were legitimate and whether or not the police force took the correct actions in response to Dorner’s alleged killing spree.

“He felt that he had been wronged, so he was going to go out and kill people,” said Barrow. “That is never right. I’m sure in his own setting, he was probably a really nice person, but nice people can be killers too. Dorner was a troubled person, that’s all there is to it.”

Being a retired officer, Barrow said he knows what it feels like to be in a high-pressure situation where you are trying to find someone who is still out there killing innocent people, and he understands why the police force did what they did.

“I don’t know what was going through those guys’ heads in that car,” said Barrow of the police officers who shot at the car of two innocent women. “I’m sure in their minds at that time, that was Dorner, and it was time to start shooting, but they were obviously wrong. You only have portions of seconds to make up your mind. Just shows how dangerous this can be.”

Junior Aaron Waters said that he doesn’t know what side to be on, but that the officers had personal issues with Dorner.

“I think they were trying their hardest to stop what he was doing after they realized what was going on, but I think a lot of their own personal stuff got thrown into the mix,” said Waters.

Waters also believes that Dorner might have followers now, because the hunt was so publicized.

“I think he got what he wanted,” said Waters. “He was trying to send a message and he got it out there, and there was a lot of people who started siding with him. Everyone kind of fell into his little plan of how he wanted things to unfold.”

Sophomore Rikke Bøvre found the experience to be surreal.

“It’s not something that you want to happen in real life,” said Bøvre. “It’s something that you think only happens in the movies.”

With Dorner having attended CLU, the connection hit close to home.

“I was kind of shocked by that. I guess they have to go somewhere, and I guess this just happened to be where he was a student,” said Bøvre.

Feven Kiflegiorgis, a news desk assistant for KTLA Channel 5 News, said that the past few weeks, while this was unfolding, had been very hectic for the station.

“We have all been on edge, even on our off days,” said Kiflegiorgis. “You don’t want to misinform the community so it’s been tiring.”

Kiflegiorgis said there have been many phone calls to the station from people saying that they understand Dorner’s pain and know where he is coming from.

She is happy that it is over, but thinks that there will be Dorner followers or copycats.

On Feb. 12, there was an intense gun battle between police officers and Dorner in Big Bear, Calif.

The San Bernardino County coroner’s office has publicly said that the body found in a cabin there has been positively identified as Dorner’s.

“He’s dead, innocent people are dead, and yet it is probably still going to go on,” said Kiflegiorgis.

When asked if there was any suspicion of Dorner coming to the CLU campus, Fred Miller, director of campus safety, said there was none.

Grennan expressed a tone of preparedness.

“We were in contact with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and kept an eye on the story…There was no reason to believe that he would come here,” said Grennan. “We have extensive emergency procedures in place and they have all been well rehearsed, so if there had been a threat to the community’s safety, there would be a plan to follow.”


Heather Ford
Staff Writer
Published Feb. 27, 2013