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After Dorner fled in their purple Nissan Rogue, Karen Reynolds managed to call 911 from a cellphone on the coffee table.
Police have not commented on the Reynolds’ account. But the notion of him holed up just across the street from the command post was shocking to many, though not totally surprising to some experts familiar with the complications of such a manhunt.
"Chilling. That’s the only word I could use for that," said Ed Tatosian, a retired SWAT commander for the Sacramento Police Department. "It’s not an unfathomable oversight. We’re human. It happens."
Law enforcement officers, who had gathered outside daily for briefings, were stunned by the revelation. One official later looking on Google Earth exclaimed that he’d parked right across the street from the Reynolds’ cabin each day.
The sheriff’s department has refused to answer questions about how one of the largest manhunts in years could have missed Dorner.
Timothy Clemente, a retired FBI SWAT team leader who was part of the search for Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, said searchers had to work methodically. When there’s a hot pursuit, they can run after a suspect into a building. But in a manhunt, the search has to slow down and police have to have a reason to enter a building.
"You can’t just kick in every door," he said.
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