Friend of accused cop killer: "This is tragic, all together trag - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Friend of accused cop killer: 'This is tragic, altogether tragic'

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A college friend of accused cop killer Chris Dorner is speaking candidly to FOX 12 about recent developments in the nationwide manhunt.

James Usera of Salem says no matter how many times he hears about the people Dorner is accused of killing and the violence he's suspected of unleashing across the region, it doesn't sink in.

"Seeing his pictures on TV, and seeing the media call him ‘accused cop killer,' is hard," said Usera.

"I look at it and see it's Chris Dorner, the same person I know to be a good friend, and I'm trying to reconcile that over past couple days. It's odd. It's surreal."

Dorner left behind a rambling manifesto vowing to wage war against the police department that fired him several years ago. The manifesto also mentioned Usera, who now lives in Salem.

Dorner writes:

"James Usera, great friend, attorney, father, husband, and the most cynical/blatant/politically incorrect friend a man can have. Best quality about you in college and now is that you never sugar coated the truth. I will miss our political discussions that always turned argumentative. Thanks for introducing me to outdoor sports like fishing, hunting, mudding, and also respect for the land and resources. Us city boys don't get out much like you Alaskans. You even introduced me to PBR. A beer, that when you're a poor college student is completely acceptable to get buzzed off of. I'm sorry I'll never get to go on that moose and bear hunt with you. I love you bro."

Because of the manifesto, Usera now finds himself roped into the nationwide story about Dorner. Media outlets from across the country have been calling him for information.

"It saddens me that I may have lost a friend, but it was his choice. He made his bed, and he will lie in it," said Usera.

Usera says it's hard to watch the coverage of Tuesday's events, and hard to think about the violence Dorner is accused of unleashing.

There were no red flags that something was this wrong in Dorner's life, says Usera, but the last time they spoke was four years ago.

If he had the chance to say one last thing to his college friend, Usera says he'd want to know why.

"I'd question him/ I'd want to grab and shake him and ask, ‘What are you doing?' I just have more questions about what drove him to this point."

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