The suspect wanted in a region-wide manhunt has an extensive military background and is a trained gunman, according to military officials.
Police are currently pursuing former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, 33, in connection with multiple shootings targeting police officers in Los Angeles and Riverside County.
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Dorner served as a U.S. Navy Reservist from July 2002 until last week , when he was honorably discharged February 1 -- just a few days before he allegedly began his shooting spree.
He was awarded the Rifle Marksman Ribbon award and the Pistol Expert Medal after a training course with the weapons. The awards are routine, but the military training combined with his LAPD training make him extremely dangerous, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
"Of course he knows what he's doing. We trained him," Beck said. "He was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary, especially to the officers involved."
A Navy spokesperson confirmed Dorner was inactive in the Navy for the past three years, during which time, he had no official affiliation with the Navy. He still had an ID card that allowed base access.
He used this ID to get into Naval Base Point Loma on Monday, when he checked into a base hotel. The ID can be renewed every year online.
Dorner was also deployed to Bahrain from Nov. 2006 through April 2007 in a riverine group aboard a patrol craft in the Gulf. The group was based in Bahrain and provided security for military operations in the gulf.
Prior to his deployment, Dorner was stationed in San Diego for several months and at various aviation training units, according to Navy biographical data.
Dorner also received the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal for his service abroad.
In an August 2006 issue of an LAPD newsletter, Dorner is pictured next to LAPD's former Police Chief William Bratton.
The newsletter said Bratton met one-on-one with Dorner when he was a U.S. Navy reservist before he deployed. At the time, Dorner was already on active military duty, but returned for the meeting.
"At the meeting, Chief Bratton conveyed his appreciation, pledged the Department’s backing, and shared information about the comprehensive support—for employees and their families—available via the Department’s Military Liaison Officer (MLO) program,” the newsletter read.