Update: Body Found in Charred Rubble of Dorner Shootout

A gun battle erupts near Big Bear after Christopher Dorner reportedly held two people hostage, stole a truck and barricaded himself in a cabin before it burnt down. Two deputies are shot, one fatally.

Investigators located charred human remains within the debris of a burned out cabin in Big Bear tonight, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department announced.

Identification of whether the remains are those of fired Los Angeles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner -- suspected in the slayings of four people -- will be attempted through forensic means, according to the department.

The 33-year-old Dorner -- the subject of a six-day manhunt -- allegedly committed a carjacking, then shot and killed a sheriff's deputy in a raging gun battle while barricaded in a cabin that caught fire shortly before 4:30 p.m.

The fire burned for several hours, delaying the entry of law enforcement personnel. Another complication was that investigators believed there was live ammunition in the cabin, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman.

Bachman did not mention Dorner's name in her final briefing of the night, which began around 8:35 p.m.

When asked whether someone was inside the burned cabin, she responded, "We believe that someone was inside and that was the person who stole the vehicle and fled, then abandoned the vehicle, ran into the forest and inside this cabin where he barricaded himself and was engaged in gunfire with our deputy sheriff, shot two of our deputy sheriffs and one of those deputies died."

Bachman earlier said investigators had reason to believe the person holed up in the cabin was Dorner. By about 6:30 p.m., multiple media outlets reported that a body believed to be Dorner had been recovered inside the burned- out cabin, although law enforcement officials had not confirmed the discovery.

"Any reports of a body being found are not true," LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said around 8 p.m. "Any reports of that body being identified as Christopher Dorner are not true."

The fiery scene culminated a wild day of violence in the normally tranquil mountain community, which has been the focus of the Dorner manhunt since his pickup truck was found burning in the area last Thursday.

But at 12:20 p.m., San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies received a report of a man matching Dorner's description stealing a car from a cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.

According to various reports from the scene, two female housekeepers had gone into the cabin and found someone matching Dorner's description inside. The suspect tied the women up and fled in their vehicle, according to witnesses and sheriff's officials.

The women were not injured. It was unclear how long the suspect may have been hiding in the cabin, which was ironically located close to the law enforcement command post that had been established during the Dorner manhunt.

The stolen vehicle was spotted a short time later along Highway 38 by a state Fish and Wildlife officer who had been taking part in the hunt, according to the sheriff's department and the state agency. The officer followed the vehicle and the suspect opened fire, striking the pursuing officer's vehicle, according to Fish and Wildlife. The officer was not injured.

Authorities said the suspect got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. A witness told KCAL9 the suspect later emerged from the woods and carjacked a man driving a silver pickup truck. The suspect drove off in the truck, but later crashed it down a forest embankment.

With an army of law enforcement in pursuit, the suspect scampered into the nearby cabin, sparking a gunfight that -- according to some reports from the scene -- involved the firing of hundreds of rounds.

During the battle, two San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were shot. Both were airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where one was pronounced dead at 2:24 p.m., according to Bachman.

The other deputy underwent surgery and medical personnel are optimistic about his recovery, but it is believed several additional surgeries will be required, Bachman said.

Meanwhile, the standoff at the cabin continued, but shortly after 4 p.m., tear gas canisters were fired into the building.

By about 4:20 p.m., the cabin was engulfed in flames. Some reports indicated that a single gunshot was heard emanating from the cabin. KCAL9, which had a reporter close to the cabin during the firefight, reported that the sound of exploding ammunition could be heard inside the cabin as the fire raged.

On Feb. 3, Dorner -- also a former Navy lieutenant -- allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in-law of an ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD. The bodies of 28- year-old Cal State Fullerton assistant women's basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old USC public safety officer Keith Lawrence, were found in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.

The next day, Dorner, 33, allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. About 50 Los Angeles police officers and their families were being protected during the manhunt, authorities said.

On Thursday, Dorner was allegedly involved in a shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer's home in Corona, leaving one officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on a pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Officer Michael Crain, 34, and wounding the other. The wounded officer was expected to recover.

Crain, an 11-year department veteran, was a former Marine. He is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left "an unforgettable impression" on everyone he met, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said. His funeral is set for Wednesday.

The search for Dorner has been focused in the Big Bear area since Thursday afternoon, when his pickup truck -- apparently disabled by a broken axle -- was found burning in a wooded area.

During an afternoon briefing today in downtown Los Angeles, LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said investigators were following up on 1,045 tips received by the department -- most generated after a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's capture and conviction was announced Sunday.

-- City News Service and Staff reports

Penny Arévalo (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 11:52 PM
The LA Times is reporting that one of the San Bernardino County Sherirff's deputies involved in today's shootout has died.
CDC February 13, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Waco all over again. I guess those cops had to get back to their warm donut shops ASAP. He(Dorner) was not going anywhere in that cabin. Limited ammo, no food, no heat. Why the rush??? Why? Because they had a hard-on to kill him. Lets burn him to death and make a martyr out of him. We have the fire truck here, but hey, lets break of the marshmallows instead. TOTALLY disgusted by how this was handled.
Kathi February 13, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Boy nothing like jumping to conclusions. There was a report it was started by gasoline. I seem to remember something about maybe some being taken from the previous place. There are mixed report on the outcome. 1 report said he might have gotten away, although that sure seems unlikely assuming they were doing their jobs. A friend who is in the area heard that they found him dead inside but I have not seen any reports of whether he is or isn't or whether he might have escaped. He also in his manifesto indicated he did not expect to survive which sounds like he may have expected to go out in a gunfight. Or if he knew he was surrounded & had already tried to escape & couldn't, he may have decided to end it. We'll have to wait & see. I certainly hope he didn't escape to possibly kill more people.
Kathi February 13, 2013 at 02:36 AM
& if you think that firefighters dared get close enough to fight the fire w a man inside who has already shot 8 I think it is, killing 4 of them, they can't take a chance.
imcjl February 13, 2013 at 02:52 AM
You sound intelligent enough, perhaps you should go talk with him. Then again, SINCE HE HAS ALREADY KILLED 4 PEOPLE AND MADE IT CLEAR HE WOULD NEVER GIVE UP, I am certain you could have gotten him to lay down his arms and come out with his hands over his head, right? You can go back to dreamland now and thank law enforcement for ending his killing spree.
Kathi February 13, 2013 at 04:09 AM
I have a friend who went anyway w family. When this came down today they reported they were in their cabin safe w doors locked. Before that though the kids seemed to be entertaining themselves. She seemed to get news before I saw anything on any of the news sites I was following. (Glad we can have multiple browser windows open to alternate between). Glad that it finally seems to be over.
Rat Masterson February 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Well, it is either Dorner or 250 pounds of charred manure. It is no coincidence that Dorner was a Liberal. Many of the recent mass shooters have been hateful Liberals or insane, or both. Thank God more Liberals do not have guns, or there would be even more violence. Do NOT arm Liberals!
rob h February 13, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Hopefully this is his body. I just wonder how much quicker this would have been taken care of if they would have called in the military to track him down. Much more experience than local police. Just wondering!!
imcjl February 13, 2013 at 04:55 PM
They had incredible resources deployed to find one killer--and since it was a cop killer, there were probably 1000 more people deployed vs. had it been someone involved in a typical murder. FBI was in control...Local law enforcement did a great job assisting...top security folks from around the country praised all efforts to end it--and they did. Just curious, what would you have done differently to end it faster (4 days from when they read his manifesto announcing he was the killer)? Just curious considering how so many people today expect immediate results from complex cases like this.
enea ostrich February 13, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Its hard to believe people think of him as a martyr...he is not. He did not die nin vain...he died in stupidity. Resolving the issue wouod have been sweet if he had done it the way most people do when they are wronged. In the first place we have to remember the Rampart Division, and what that did to change LAPD. What people wonder now is how this guy got through the testing. He got through because of his race, that's why. There is certain protocol to follow and every station academy out there has to accept so many guys and gals of each race...to be fair. So, when you think about it, if the psych testing hadn't been overlooked due to his race, all these cops and people who got killed would still be alive. Let the police people who signed him off and allowed him in the ranks never be able to sleep again for choosing to let a psycho in. Let it be on their conscience.
rob h February 13, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I would have called in the military who has much more experience than local police for tracking down bad guys. (Iraq, Afganistan, etc. etc.) I'm not saying the local law enforcement didn't do a good job, just saying I think military possibly could have done it better and quicker. I don't think theyh would hae opened up on a white guy just cause he was in the area and driving a truck, or opening up on two women delivering papers. But regarding the two women, maybe they would, driving a similiar truck with lights out. Just my opinion
JustUs February 13, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Did you folks happen to read that the home that Dorner invaded and held the 2 hostages captive for a couple days was only about 100 yards from the cop's command post location where the cops were staked out??? hah. Very true. I couldn't make that up in a 1000 years. I'm surprised that the search dogs didn't pick up Dorner's scent in the air! hah. Maybe they all had colds or something. Dorner should have had some donuts delivered to the command post as a gesture of good will.
CDC February 13, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Started by gasoline??? Please post your source. Every news agency report I have read states the six tear gas grenades started the fire that killed him. Who keeps gasoline in their rental cabins? Answer: NOBODY! Tear gas is a common fire starter. It is well documented... http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/City-Terrace-Standoff-SWAT-Police-187102151.html http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2001-05-30/news/0105300347_1_gas-canisters-police-dog-fire http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/dorner-manhunt-highly-incendiary-hot-gas-used-on-cabin.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wz0sUHbXx0 If the police used gasoline to burn him out that is basically worse! That is murder. Please get your facts correct before posting.
JustUs February 13, 2013 at 09:51 PM
CDC, did you listen to the police transmissions (made public) like I did? Before the cannisters (or whatever) were fired into the cabin there were cops in the background yelling "Burn the ******** place down". One way or the other, Dorner was not coming out of that situation alive. That was likely decided long before they confronted him in the woods yesterday.
JustUs February 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I'm surprised that they didn't test the military Drone aircraft in this domestic matter and taken the cabin out with a Drone missile. Don't laugh. Eventually they will. It's just a matter of time. That's the direction America is moving. Especially with KIng Obama in the White House who uses the US Constitution as toilet paper.
CDC February 13, 2013 at 10:13 PM
The military have ZERO experience in public man hunts. You really think flying a drone around LA is going to find him? May we reminded you that two cleaning ladies found him in the Condo for free. Cost the tax payers NOTHING. And he was within 75 feet of the cops command post for days! That tells me a lot about the cops. The military is great if you want marshal law and got a hard on to destroy 3 city blocks! Seven oaks would basically be a smoking crater if they called in the military. It would be another Pat Tillman X 10. A killing field of innocent people. NO THANK YOU!
CDC February 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM
There was no hostages in the cabin. The cleaning people found him. The press had a field day with wrong information... http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/13/timeline-events-leading-up-to-discovery-human-remains-in-fugitive-ex-cop/
Smokey Bear February 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I work across the street from where that poor couple was murdered in Irvine & saw KCAL van & reporters, walked right past it not knowing what happened until that night. So glad he is dead & we dont have to pay for his incarceration! Poor couple, so sad!!!
JustUs February 13, 2013 at 10:28 PM
CDC, thank you for the update. And if Dorner had been the REAL EVIL cold-blooded murderer that many made him out to be, why didn't he murder the 2 maids or murder the man that he stole the truck from? He let all of them live. And they were the ones who reportedly turned him in after he let them live. This proves that his vengeance was directed only towards the cops. Yes, he seemingly murdered Monica Quan and her finance which was a very wrong thing to do. But he did it because Monica Quan was related to the LAPD captain who Dorner claimed in his manifesto betrayed him. Naturally, that was NO justification to murder Monica Quan and I feel very bad for her and her fiance. But Dorner was not after civilians, he was out to hurt people who allegedly wrongfully terminated him from his livelihood and stole his identity. Men don't go on rampages like that for no reason. Dorner was pushed over the edge by something that was done to him. And Dorner was fired for something that most cops only get a written reprimand for. That is what lit the fuse on this tragedy. Yet few will admit it.
CDC February 13, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Imcjl, The FBI WAS NOT IN CONTROL OF ANY OF THIS. It happened WAY to fast. You have it TOTALLY backwards! If you bothered reading the morning papers and posts, it was the San Bernardino County Sheriffs department that ran the operation start to finish. They were assisted by our law enforcement agencies (F&G, CHP, City Police/SWAT). The sheriff deputies where the ones that got shot. They get the collar. I hope the cleaning people get the million dollars. The LAPD will probably take back their reward claiming the F&G found him.
CDC February 13, 2013 at 11:41 PM
JustUs, He was also civil to the last guy he hijacked the truck from. Seems they should have used plain clothed cops to catch him. Uniformed anything set him off. "Rick Heltebrake, 61, told TODAY on Wednesday that he was driving near the Boy Scout camp he operates when a heavily armed man he recognized as Dorner, 33, crawled out of the woods, pointing a rifle at him. He said the hulking former Navy reservist was wearing camouflage and a ballistics vest and told Heltebrake, “I don’t want to hurt you.” “He was dressed for action,” Heltebrake said. Dorner commandeered his car, but let the man and his dog to go, according to Heltebrake. Shortly after Dorner sped off, Heltebrake heard gunshots." Seems Dorner is not a very good driver in the snow. Crashed or destroyed three cars. How do you break an axle on a Titan pickup truck on a graded forest road is a mystery.
JustUs February 14, 2013 at 01:06 AM
CDC, yes, I knew about that already. I listened to the truck owner interviewed on the radio. Dorner told him that he didn't want to hurt him and let him take his dog and walk away unharmed. Frankenstein's don't do that. A Frankenstein would have murdered anyone who had a chance to turn him in. This proves MY POINT that Dorner felt wronged by a certain group of people and was not a man bent on destroying humanity. Many people are missing that point!
Frieda Wales February 14, 2013 at 05:49 AM
JustUs, it doesn't matter that he treated a few people nicely. He still had a list of those who he was willing to kill to bring more attention to his gripe against the LAPD. Two of those people were not law enforcement, but a young couple in Orange County. They were his first victims and from that moment on law enforcement had no choice but to treat him as they would any other murderer of innocent people. From that moment on he was a cold-blooded killer on the loose.
JustUs February 14, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Pacific Coast Mama, although Dorner was probably a murderer that was not proven for certain, at least in a legal sense. But chances are very good that he was a murderer and what he did was certainly not right. My only point is that something must have happened to Dorner to make him go off the deep end. People just don't do that for no reason. Especially people with clean backgrounds and no criminal history. Somebody must have really wronged him. I think there's a darn good chance he snitched that cop off and LAPD turned him into the 'bad guy' for it and fired him. Chances are Dorner didn't file a false report. But even if he did cops are generally not fired for that offense. Cops have been involved in serious DUI injury accidents in their own government vehicles and convicted of DUI with grave bodily injury, sentenced to jail w/ lawsuits of nearly $5M and not been fired. And I can prove it. So why would they fire a cop for allegedly filing a false report? That's bunk. LAPD was out to get Dorner for snitching off a fellow cop, a mortal sin in the police ranks. That's why the police business is so dirty. Because they all cover for one another. They are assigned to enforce the laws yet look the other way when one of their own commits a crime. Really dirty and corrupted. And whoever fired Dorner should be ashamed. He (they) lit the fuse that resulted in this tragedy.
fact checker February 14, 2013 at 03:53 PM
The shooters at Columbine and Sandy Hook felt that they had also been wronged. Something also made them go off the deep end. They also went after innocent people in their zeal to right the wrong they felt had been done to them. Are you also going to defend them? Are you going to ask for an investigation into what their victims did to deserve their fate? The one thing they all have in common is that they were sociopaths who felt no empathy for anyone else besides themselves.
Smokey Bear February 14, 2013 at 04:47 PM
My husband said a teacher where he works said that her nephew was at the boat dock working on a boat & was approached by Dorner saying he was looking for a charter to fish, frantically, he asked everyone, then the FBI came later & thats when they found out who he was. Also he hijacked a boat owner & tied up a poor old man, tried to steal the boat, but ran over the mooring line, then bailed & ran away! Crazy to be that close to the insanity!
JustUs February 14, 2013 at 05:37 PM
"Are you also going to defend them?" I don't defend any of them or what they did. Most of these completely loony tunes. But you will never see the US government declare a 'war on mental illness' because it would be too expensive. So they let them sleep under bridges and in doorways in the cold of night and catch pneumonia and call it 'freedom'. hah! What a laugh that is. The columbine kids were pretty much gang members. Period. The Sandy Hook kid was a mental basketcase who was not getting the treatment he needed. Chris Dorner seemed to be egregiously wronged for snitching off another cop, thus losing his job and livelihood as a result. That would make any human being extremely angry. Did any of it justify murder? Of course not. But the outrage is perfectly understandable. All humans have different level of tolerance for outrage. And all humans deal with their outrage differently. Chris Doner took the wrong route for sure. But I understand his outrage, as should any other human being who looks at this situation objectively.
The Beast ! February 14, 2013 at 05:43 PM
DORNER is a ANIMAL and brought this battle to himself. You cannot reason with savages. His case against the LAP was heard at a board of rights which he lost, then he sues the LAPD in superior court LOST the courts upheld the LAPD decission. Then he went to the appellate court where his case was heard and the courts ruled with the LAPD's decission. Sometimes in life things dont always go your way and you just have to accept that you may not be suitable for everything or in this case every job you want. So Dorner is obvisouly a criminal and probably never should have been hired in the 1st place. Ive never thought about killing anyone because things did not go my way or the way I wanted it to be. BURN IN HELL Dorner and anyone that condones his behaviors.
JustUs February 14, 2013 at 06:19 PM
"DORNER is a ANIMAL and brought this battle to himself. You cannot reason with savages." I see your statement coming from ignorance. Dorner had no criminal history. He had a top secret security clearance until LAPD took it away from him. He was a naval officer until his LAPD termination ruined that. After passing all the LAPD tests, background checks, lie boxes and psych exams LAPD hired him as a police office, a job he retained for 4 years. Obviously, a man who accomplished these things in life does not all the sudden go on a murderous rampage without something liting his fuse. But apparently you don't have the intellect to figure that out. "His case against the LAP was heard at a board of rights which he lost, then he sues the LAPD in superior court LOST the courts upheld the LAPD decission." The courts did not say that they disbelieved Dorner. They only said that he did not prove his case by a preponderance of evidence. That's all. And naturally, all the other cops testified against him since he accused another cop of 'abuse under the color of authority'. Cops normally protect other cops, even when they commit wrongdoings. Dorner snitched off another cop. A cardinal sin in law enforcement. That was his problem. Normally cops are not fired for simply falsifying a report. Cops don't get fired for being found guilty of civil liberty violations in Federal courts for God sakes! hah! So you're full of the, The Beast. You name speaks for itself.
Buy My Bikes February 14, 2013 at 07:33 PM
News Flash!!! Chis Dorner quit smoking!


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