The man whose truck was carjacked by Christopher Dorner during his cop killing rampage -- and who subsequently notified police -- doesn't deserve a cent of the reward money ... so says Riverside County, California.
TMZ broke the story ... Richard Heltebrake sued a bunch of government bodies in SoCal that promised a million-dollar reward for information leading to the capture of Dorner, who murdered three police officers in February, 2013.
Heltebrake claims his tip was crucial in tracking down Dorner -- and he demanded the full reward, which was collectively financed by several municipalities, including Riverside County, the City of L.A., and the City of Irvine.
But now, Riverside is saying Heltebrake deserves jack squat -- because his "tip" regarding Dorner's whereabouts came in AFTER police already knew where Dorner was.
Lawyers for Riverside cite Heltebrake's own account of his call to police -- where Heltebrake describes hearing a "serious volley of gunshots" before calling a local deputy. Riverside claims those gunshots were from a firefight between Dorner and police.
Translation: his tip came in too late.
Riverside has decided to give the majority of its reward to the couple whom Dorner tied up and gagged inside their home in Big Bear Lake ... before taking off in their Nissan.
Carjack Victim Sues
For $1 Million Reward
4/29/2013 5:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The man who was carjacked by cop killer Christopher Dorner hours before he was cornered in a cabin ... is suing the city of L.A. for the $1 million reward it offered to the public, but then pulled back over a loophole ... TMZ has learned.
In the lawsuit, filed today in LA, Richard Heltebrake describes how Dorner pulled a gun on him on Feb. 12, took his truck and then used it during a shootout with law enforcement. Dorner eventually ditched the truck before fleeing to the cabin where he died.
Heltebrake says once he was free he used his cell phone to call the San Bernardino Co. Sheriff to report the carjacking and Dorner's location.
Heltebrake believes he's owed, and indeed filed for, a ton of reward money that was offered -- $1 million from the city of L.A., $100k from Riverside County, and $100k each from the cities of Riverside and Irvine.
Three of those rewards were for "information leading to the apprehension and capture" of Dorner. Another was for "identification and apprehension."
The language is important because Dorner was not apprehended or captured -- but instead police say he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the burning cabin.
As TMZ first reported, L.A. officials were hesitant to pay up -- and in the suit, Heltebrake claims all the municipalities denied him any money.
Heltebrake wants at least $1 million -- as well as an order prohibiting anyone else from getting the reward money.
... Wanna Buy A Piece Of Christopher Dorner?
4/12/2013 3:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Now this is special ... Dead cop-killer Christopher Dorner's .38 Special is up for auction.
Dorner got a piddly fifty bucks for the well-worn revolver (pictured above) at Bargain Pawn in January, a month before his killing spree touched off one of the largest manhunts in LAPD history.
The North Las Vegas pawn shop started its online auction Tuesday evening ... so far it's up to $455 with 15 bids. A permit and photo of Dorner in the shop prove it was his.
The owners tell TMZ they have only good intentions -- the listing calls Dorner a "coward and murderer." They're donating the proceeds of the auction to the families of Riverside police officer Michael Crain and San Bernardino Det. Jeremiah MacKay ... who both left behind kids.
Going once, going twice ...
Christopher Dorner 911
'We Were Tied Up ...'
'Sure Someone's Coming?'
4/10/2013 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The elderly couple tied up at gunpoint by a rampaging, cop-killing Christopher Dorner waited nearly 20 minutes for cops to arrive to their Big Bear cabin after calling 911 -- despite the fact they were across from the cops' weekend command center.
During the Feb. 12 call, Karen and Jim Reynolds positively ID'd Dorner as the man who tied them up ... giving the first real clue to the maniac's location in the midst of a nationwide manhunt.
Karen was still tied up when she managed to use a cell phone just minutes after Dorner split in the couple's SUV. She was uncannily calm ... at first ... especially given that the rampaging disgruntled ex-cop had just threatened them with a rifle, bound their hands, gagged them, put pillowcases on their heads and jacked their car.
But she starts to crack just five minutes in: "Are you sure someone's coming here?" she asks the dispatcher.
"I'm sure someone's going -- we have several units going out there ma'am," the dispatcher says, apologetically.
A few minutes later, Karen Reynolds seems irritated when she mentions that they are "right across from where the command center was all weekend."
Their ordeal goes on and on ... and on ... including a moment when Karen, still bound, falls to the ground and cries out in pain.
Dorner ultimately met his fate later that day ... when he shot himself in the head during a fiery shootout with cops at a nearby cabin.
Christopher Dorner REWARD
Riverside City WEASELS OUT
3/26/2013 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
We told you this was gonna happen ... some of the folks who offered a reward for the capture of cop killer Christopher Dorner have wussed out on a technicality.
We did the first story ... that the reward was for the arrest and conviction of the former LAPD cop. Since Dorner killed himself rather than surrender, the conditions were not met, although there's absolutely no doubt several citizens were instrumental in surrounding the cabin where he was holed up.
The Riverside City Council -- which offered $100,000 - has just announced it will not ante up to anyone.
Other local governments have offered additional rewards totaling more than $1 million. The jury is out on whether they'll do the right thing or follow Riverside's lead.
BTW ... good luck Riverside, the next time you ask people for help and offer a reward.
LL Cool J
Too Soon to Think About
a Christopher Dorner Movie
3/2/2013 8:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
LL Cool J must know he bears a striking resemblance to accused killer Christopher Dorner, but he wants NO PART of a movie about Dorner ... at least not yet.
Outside Katsuya in Hollywood last night, we asked the Grammy host/rapper/"NCIS: Los Angeles" star about possibly doing a biopic, but he quickly nixed the idea.
LL told us, "That's not even something to really talk about because there are families that suffered, people that died. And because of that, I think it would be disrespectful to them to ... have this conversation about a film when people's lives were on the line."
Gruesome Death Pics for Sale
2/20/2013 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Christopher Dorner's badly scorched, partially dismembered body was photographed after his death ... and TMZ has learned the pics are now being shopped to the media.
TMZ has seen the photos (the sellers showed up to our doorstep) -- and the shots are extremely gruesome.
The top of Dorner's head is gone ... presumably the result of the self-inflicted gunshot wound that ended his life after the gun battle at a remote cabin in Big Bear, CA last week.
The body is missing several limbs ... including an arm and parts of a leg ... and his midsection is charred from the fire that consumed the cabin during the Feb. 12 shoot-out.
In fact, Dorner's upper teeth were barely damaged ... which helped authorities ID the body.
TMZ did not purchase the photos -- but the sellers are definitely on the hunt for a buyer.
'Not Too Keen' on Being
in Chris Dorner's Manifesto
2/19/2013 8:37 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
'That's So Raven' Star
Thank God Dorner's Dead
'Cause People Thought I Was Him
2/15/2013 3:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"That's So Raven" star Rondell Sheridan breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when he found out Christopher Dorner was dead ... 'cause they look so much alike, Rondell says he was legitimately scared to go out in public.
Rondell -- who played Raven Symone's dad on the Disney sitcom -- tells TMZ ... ever since the manhunt for Dorner began, he noticed people were giving him strange looks in public ... the kind of looks that say, "I could get a reward if I capture this dude."
"Honestly I know it’s nothing to laugh about, but I will admit I was a little nervous flying to LAX last Sunday, " Sheridan says.
"I was like 'Are people checking me out cause I was on [TV], or cause I look like that guy everybody’s looking for?'"
Rondell says the confusion got so bad, people notified him about an "RIP Chris Dorner" Facebook page that mistakenly featured the actor's photo.
Still, Rondell says he would jump at the chance to star as Dorner in the inevitable movie ... "But with my luck they'll give it to LL Cool J."
Or Anthony Anderson.
Through Dental Records
2/14/2013 3:42 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Christopher Dorner is dead ... officially ... now that officials say they have POSITIVELY identified the killer's remains.
The San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept. released a statement saying, "The charred human remains located in the burned out cabin in Seven Oaks have been positively identified to be that of Christopher Dorner."
Officials say he was identified through dental records.
Dorner died in a remote cabin in Big Bear, CA -- where he engaged police in an intense gun battle. Dorner shot and killed one cop in the firefight and wounded another.
Cops had been chasing Dorner for days after he allegedly killed 3 people earlier in the month, including another police officer.
I Would DEFINITELY
Do a Chris Dorner Movie
2/14/2013 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Anthony Anderson isn't afraid to play a psychotic cop killer in a movie -- telling TMZ, he'd happily accept the role of Christopher Dorner in a film about the accused murderer's life ... as long as the script is good.
Anderson was leaving Mastro's Tuesday night alongside Don Cheadle and the vaporizer-carrying George Lopez when our photog asked if he'd be open to the role ... given Anderson's resemblance.
Anderson replied, "I'm always up for a good role, brother."
So ... you buyin' it? Our vote's still for LL Cool J.
$1 Million Reward ...
2/13/2013 10:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Several private citizens were instrumental in cornering cop killer Christopher Dorner ... but there may be a gigantic loophole preventing any of them from collecting the loot.
There are 3 rewards. The Mayor of L.A. announced a $1 million reward -- funded by private groups -- for information leading to the "capture and conviction" of Dorner. Big problem -- technically speaking, Dorner must be both captured AND convicted to trigger the reward.
The L.A. City Council offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to "the identification, apprehension, and conviction" of Dorner. Again ... no conviction. City Council sources tell us there's already a disagreement between the Legislative Analyst and the City Attorney over how to interpret the reward language.
Translation ... technically speaking, no one may be entitled to the reward. It's unclear if the Mayor, the City Council and the Board of Supervisors will bend the rules.
Christopher Dorner Case
LAPD No Longer on
2/13/2013 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The LAPD says it has moved back into a "normal state of police operation" after the gun fight in Big Bear last night ... which means they believe the body inside the burnt-out cabin belongs to Christopher Dorner.
Of course, cops won't officially confirm the body belongs to Dorner until the tests are run on the badly burned corpse ... but the move by the LAPD suggests they're pretty damn sure it was Dorner.
A rep for the police department says the city of L.A. is no longer on tactical alert.
Dorner met his fate following a frightening shootout with cops in a remote cabin in Big Bear. The cabin was set ablaze and Dorner's body is believed to have been badly burned in the inferno.
Dorner is accused of killing 4 people -- including 2 cops.