After a week-long manhunt, former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner is believed to have died in a cabin fire in Big Bear Lake on Tuesday afternoon. Charred human remains have been found, but the body has not yet been identified. The Associated Press reports a California driver’s license with Dorner’s name was recovered from the scene.
"We have reason to believe that it is him," said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman.
Dorner’s run-in with authorities on Tuesday began when he left a cabin where he had apparently been hiding out since police found his abandoned truck burning on a fire road in the San Bernardino National Forest last Thursday. Dorner tied up two women in a nearby home and stole their vehicle. One of the women broke free and called 911 with Dorner’s description. Two California Fish and Wildlife wardens then spotted Dorner in the stolen car and gave chase, but Dorner opened fire. Dorner eventually crashed and fled the scene on foot. He stole a second car and drove to a cabin where he holed up and engaged in another shootout with San Bernadino County deputies. One deputy was killed and a second was seriously wounded. According to law enforcement sources, SWAT teams threw smoke devices inside the cabin in an effort to force Dorner out. The cabin caught fire and was soon engulfed in flames.
Dorner, a former Navy lieutenant, began his killing spree on February 3 when he murdered 27-year-old Monica Quan, the daughter of a retired LAPD officer, and Quan’s fiance, Keith Lawrence, in Irvine, California. The killings led police to discover Dorner’s online “manifesto” in which he talked about seeking revenge against the police department for his 2008 termination. Dorner specifically named 12 people in the document.
"Your lack of ethics and conspiring to wrong a just individual are over. Suppressing the truth will lead to deadly consequences for you and your family," Dorner wrote.
"I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty," he continued. "You will now live the life of the prey."
Dorner claimed the department fired him because he reported an incident of police brutality. His accusation was reviewed and he was eventually terminated for making false statements. "It is clear as day that the department retaliated toward me for reporting [the officer]. ... The department stated that I had lied and made up the report,” he added. "This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences.”
On Wednesday night, Dorner opened fire on LAPD officers protecting the home of one the targets named in his manifesto. An officers sustained a minor head wound. About thirty minutes later, Dorner shot at two officers in Riverside. One of the officers died and the other was wounded.
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