Erie's SWAT Team Commander Reacts To California Manhunt - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Erie's SWAT Team Commander Reacts To California Manhunt

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The manhunt and death of former LAPD officer, Christopher Dorner, was being watched closely by people across the country, especially in police departments.

Today, we sat down with the Commander of Erie's SWAT Team, to talk about how it all went down.

Officers here in Erie can certainly understand the complexity of the situation, as they watched it unfold in California.

For 9 days, police officers and SWAT teams tracked a well-trained former police officer, who had an agenda to kill.

It was an unthinkable situation.

And it ended when SWAT teams fired tear gas inside the cabin where Dorner was holed up.

We sat down with Erie's acting SWAT Team Commander, Sergeant Jon Nolan, to get his take on the situation.

He says it was obviously an emotional time for the officers, in trying to take Dorner into custody.

In the end, when it came down to Dorner barricading himself inside the home, and the home subsequently burning down with him inside, while the fire isn't ideal, Nolan says that's how SWAT officers train.

"We want to definitely have him (suspect) come out to us. First we surround the location, we try to call him out but if he doesn't we go up to the next step which could be putting tear gas projectiles into the building. A lot of times that works for us and the individual comes out. But if they don't, we have to keep escalating until we get the person to eventually come out, or last resort we'll to in and try to get him that way." Said Sgt. Nolan.

Nolan says in a barricaded gunman situation they'll use tear gas, just like the officers in California used.

He adds they get hot and can start a fire, and that's likely what could have happened. 

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