CEDAR CITY — A former Los Angeles police officer sought in southern California shootings that have killed three people spent several years in Utah as a student and football player at Southern Utah University.
Former SUU professor Stephen Roberds said although Christopher Dorner was once a student of his, he has little memory of what he was like in class.
However, Roberds clearly remembers Dorner's visits to campus after he had graduated.
"He came back to campus probably twice while he was in Naval training," Roberds said. "He was very focused and directed, very polite."
The political science professor, who now teaches at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., said he was "shocked" to learn of the accusations against his former student. He called it "totally out of character" from the soft-spoken young man he knew more than a decade ago, and who always addressed him as "sir."
"There had to have been something else going on," he said, adding that he never learned the details of Dorner's childhood or personal life. "I thought he was going to make the Navy a career."
Dorner is the focus of an intense manhunt in California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico. He's suspected of launching a killing spree to punish those he blames for his 2008 dismissal from the LAPD.
SUU athletic and academic officials say Dorner had an unremarkable career as a reserve running back in 1999 and 2000.
University Relations Vice President Dean O'Driscoll says Dorner graduated in 2001 with a political science degree and a minor in psychology.
SUU athletics spokesman Neil Gardner recalls Dorner as polite, friendly and hardworking.
Contributing: Associated Press