Los Angeles News
Charred Remains ID'd As Chris Dorner
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Feb 13, 2013 - 8:00:28 PM
LOS ANGELES—Former LAPD officer and suspect for four murders, Chris Dorner, reportedly died in a Big Bear cabin that caught fire on Tuesday, February 13.
Chris Dorner caught on a surveillance camera. Photo courtesy of LAPD.
Authorities claimed Dorner's California driver's license was found in the burned cabin and strongly believed the body found was his. “Investigators have located charred human remains within the debris of the burned out cabin,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said in a news release. Forensic investigators did not ID the human remains as Dorner until Thursday, February 14 by using dental records.
Authorities reported that the 33-year-old barricaded himself inside a vacant cabin after he stole a truck and carjacked another which he crashed on Tuesday afternoon. Police searched for Dorner in Big Bear since Thursday, February 7 when Dorner's burned-out Nissan Titan was discovered by Big Bear Lake. Inside the vehicle authorities found weapons, survival gear and a gas mask.
Cabin-to-cabin searches were conducted for six days with no progress until the morning of February 12. Dorner allegedly broke into a condo in the 1200 block of Club View Road and took two housekeepers hostage.
The women were kept captive for an unknown amount of time. It wasn't until Tuesday morning that one of them was able to escape and contact police after Dorner stole their vehicle. He eventually abandoned the vehicle and carjacked a truck on Highway 38 at approximately 12:20 p.m.
Fish and Game officers saw Dorner and exchanged gunfire. The suspect fled the scene into the forest and hid inside a cabin where he began shooting at surrounding officers. "It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go into that area. The rounds kept coming and they did not give up," said San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon during a news conference, calling his men "absolutely true heroes."
Jeremiah MacKay. Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
During the shooting, two San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were wounded and were taken to Loma Linda Medical Center where one of the officers died, while the other is expected to recover after additional surgeries.
"It was horrifying to listen to that firefight, to hear those words 'officer down,'" Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Andy Neiman said Wednesday in a news conference. The slain deputy was confirmed to be 35-year-old Detective Jeremiah MacKay, a 15-year department veteran. MacKay leaves behind a wife, a seven-year-old daughter and a four-month-old son. The injured officer was identified as Alex Collins.
Dorner attempted to escape the cabin at one point by throwing a smoke grenade at officers. Officers had the cabin surrounded for hours while Dorner remained inside until around 4:20 p.m. when tear gas was fired in the home. A single gunshot was then heard from inside the residence.
A fire was ignited after police used tear gas on the residence. "We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," said McMahon. Police believe the fire was caused by one type of tear gas used which was pyrotechnic.
The suspect was never seen leaving the cabin and a charred body was found in the residence that died of unknown causes. "We believe the investigation is over at this point," McMahon said.
Michael Crain. Photo courtesy of Riverside Police Department.
Dorner is accused of the revenge killings of Monica Quan, 28 and her 27-year-old fiancÃ©, Keith Lawrence, in Irvine on Sunday, February 3. Dorner was a LAPD officer from 2005 to 2008 when he was fired for allegedly making false accusations against a fellow officer.
Quan's father was a former LAPD Captain who represented Dorner during the hearing which led to his dismissal from the force. He was not named a suspect in the couple's death until Wednesday, February 6.
He is also wanted for a reported ambush of two Riverside officers in their patrol car on February 7. Michael Crain was shot to death while his partner was critically injured, but is expected to make a full recovery.
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