In a manhunt spanning a week, officers found themselves searching for someone who wanted to kill them.
“When it ended,” says John Caprarelli, “people just don’t go home.”
Caprarelli is the author of “Uniform Decisions: My Life In The LAPD And The North Hollywood Shootout.” He was one of the first officers on the scene when a pair of bank robbers fired more than 1,100 rounds at law enforcement during one of the longest, bloodiest firefights in history.
He says that a story like that of Christopher Dorner will likely carry on for weeks and even months, even though the case is now seemingly closed.
Every time an officer hears something about the incident, “whether they were on the front line or next to a buddy that got wounded or killed, it’s going to come up again. They’re going to deal with the part that they were involved with. It’s something that doesn’t go away real quick.”
It affects the families of these officers too, even the kids, says Caprarelli. The happy bubble those children might have presumed they lived in gets popped and it’s difficult to deal with.
Caprarelli’s wife founded the LAPD Wives Association, and says she was receiving many calls from the wives of officers who were out at the scene of the Dorner firefight.
The retired officer says he thinks it’s a far-fetched fluke that an ex-cop was behind such a violent killing spree, and he doesn’t think it will happen again anytime soon. But as the lives of the officers move forward, “you have to deal with it,” he said. “You have to remember that it could happen again.”
More on the manhunt for Christopher Dorner:
Christopher Dorner’s license found in burned cabin
Photos: Searching for Christopher Dorner
‘I’ve never heard anything like that on the radio’
Key events in manhunt for fugitive ex-LA officer