IRVINE, Calif. - Police protective units zeroed in on this quiet Southern California suburb Sunday, as residents adjusted to life in the midst of a sprawling manhunt for a fugitive whose police and military background and vitriolic online manifesto has put the region on high alert.
Joe Palacio lives down the street from a home surrounded by authorities protecting a police captain mentioned as a target in Christopher Dorner's Facebook rant against those he held responsible for his dismissal from the Los Angeles Police Department five years ago.
Dorner, 33, is suspected of killing three people, including one police officer, and as the regional search entered its fourth day, authorities posted a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture.
"We will not tolerate this reign of terror," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
After days without resolution, Dorner's fugitive status caused concern among some and downright fear among others in the upscale community that the FBI consistently ranks among the safest cities in the U.S.
"If he did come around this corner, what could happen? We're in the crossfire, with the cops right there," Palacio said.
"I do think about where I would put my family," he said. "Would we call 911? Would we hide in the closet?"
The neighborhood has been flooded with authorities since Wednesday. Residents have seen police helicopters circle and cruisers stake out schools. Some have responded by keeping their children home. Others no longer walk their dogs at night.
Dorner's background added to the anxiety. The former LAPD officer also served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and a pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. In his online manifesto, Dorner vowed to use "every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordnance and survival training I've been given" to bring "warfare" to the LAPD and its families.
As tense Irvine residents went on with their lives, police looked into a taunting phone call to the father of the woman they believe Dorner killed last week.
With little apparent evidence pointing to Dorner's whereabouts, worrisome questions emerged: How long could the intense search be sustained? And, if Dorner continues to evade capture, how do authorities protect dozens of former police colleagues whom he has publicly targeted?
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department has deployed 50 protection details to guard officers and their families who are deemed targets in Dorner's manifesto.