SALEM – A Salem attorney who described himself as a past friend of ex-LA cop fugitive Christopher Dorner said he was shocked to see how the manhunt ended Tuesday.
James Usera became friends with Dorner when they played football together at Southern Utah University.
He said he was in disbelief when he learned that college pal had been accused in a deadly rampage that reportedly ended with Dorner's death in a police shootout and cabin fire on Tuesday.
“To see things unfold this way is devastating,” Usera told KGW. “My experience with Chris was overwhelmingly positive. I never saw a violent streak in him. I didn't see signs of aggressiveness or anything like that.”
Dorner had been on the run since Feb. 6, when investigators in Calif. connected him to the slayings of a former LA police captain's daughter and her fiance with his angry manifesto.
Background: Chrisopher Dorner’s manifesto
Dorner blamed LAPD Capt. Randal Quan for providing poor representation before the police disciplinary board that fired him for filing a false report. Dorner, who was black, claimed in his online rant that he was the subject of racism by the department and was targeted for doing the right thing.
Dorner vowed to get even with those who had wronged him as part of his plan to reclaim his good name.
Usera also said that he wished he could have somehow helped Dorner before he became so angry and violent.
“My friend’s apparently dead now, so that’s disturbing to me,” Usera said. “There’s this kind of human side to it for me, because this is not some depraved monster out killing police officers, this is my friend who was having a serious problem.”
In the end, Usera said he was sad that Dorner apparently felt there was no other way to solve his problems and he felt devastated when he learned of all the lives that were taken during his rampage.
(KGW reporters Mike Benner and Ashley Korslien contributed to this report.)