A decade later, former Riverside police officer recounts being shot 9 times by Dorner in ambush

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Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Riverside officer recounts being shot 9 times by Dorner in ambush
In an interview with ABC7, former Riverside Police Officer Andrew Tachias recounted being ambushed and shot by Christopher Dorner during Dorner's violent crime spree 10 years ago.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Ten years after former Riverside Police Officer Andrew Tachias was ambushed and shot nine times by Christopher Dorner during Dorner's violent crime spree, Tachias recounted the harrowing ordeal in an interview with ABC7.

"I just kept telling myself, 'As long as you stay awake, you're going to live,'" Tachias recalled. His partner, Officer Michael Crain, was killed in the shooting.

ABC7 asked Tachias how much thought he gave to the possibility that every day as an officer he could face something that could end his life.

"Yeah, there's always a thought in the back of your mind," Tachias said. "But there's -- it's not something you're thinking about constantly."

It was Feb. 7th, 2013. The manhunt for Dorner, a rogue ex-LAPD officer, was underway.

Unbeknownst to law enforcement, Dorner was east heading into Riverside, approaching the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington.

Dashcam video from Tachias and Crain's patrol car shows them pulling up to the same intersection, in the opposite direction. Dorner then proceeds through the red light. Then, gunfire.

"I saw the video -- our car's rolling through the intersection," Tachias said. "I don't remember it ever rolling. But I remember Karam coming up -- the taxi driver -- to save me.

"My first thought is, 'This guy shot me.' And my intention now is to kill Karam. It's unfortunate my arms got shot but I'm thankful they did. Because Karam might not be here today if they worked.

"When I realized my arms aren't working, I started thinking of other scenarios: 'How can I defend myself with my legs and nothing's working on my body?' And as he gets closer I'm thinking we're going have to fight somehow. And he puts the car in park for me. That's when I realize this guy's here to help me. So, I direct him to the radio and tell him to put it to my mouth so I could call for help."

Looking back, Tachias says he always felt like he had the option "to live or to die in that scenario." He kept telling himself, "Stay awake."

At the time, Larry Gonzalez, who is now the Riverside police chief, told Tachias that he was going in and out of consciousness.

"I don't remember that," Tachias said. "But, to me, in my head, I was in the fight the whole time."

ABC7 retraces Dorner's deadly trail in documentary, "True Crime: The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner"

It was ten years ago this week that fired LAPD officer Christopher Dorner went on nine-day rampage as he sought revenge on the department.

Tachias later returned to work a desk job at the Riverside Police Department, but that would only last for so long.

"It came down to: I couldn't do the job anymore that they hired me to do," he said. "So it was time for me to leave."

Tachias says he has no regrets about getting into law enforcement.

"I enjoyed my time there. I met great people," he said. "If I had the opportunity to do it again, I wouldn't. Because when you get injured like I did, or if you were to pass away, it doesn't just affect you. You affect your family, your friends, your co-workers, the community, because everybody cares about you. And so I wouldn't want to put someone through that again."