SAN BERNARDINO – County deputies believe that Christopher Dorner, suspected in multiple ambushes on police personnel since last week, was found burned to death in a mountain cabin after a dramatic confrontation on Tuesday. The cabin, located in the San Bernardino mountains community of Angelus Oaks, is a short distance away from Big Bear, where law enforcement agencies had tracked Dorner to last week.
On Tuesday, Dorner reportedly shot and killed one deputy and wounded another before ducking into a vacation cabin, where he was spotted by law enforcement agencies. A former Los Angeles policeman who was terminated in 2009, Dorner vowed revenge on any law enforcement individuals and their families in a manifesto released by L.A. police. Officials reported that Dorner’s driver’s license was found in the rubble of the cabin after the fire was extinguished. It may take weeks to determine the identity of the body that was discovered.
Dorner was on the run for nine days before Tuesday’s shootout in the mountains. He is the suspected shooter in a Feb. 7 ambush that claimed the life of Riverside police officer Michael Crain, 34, along with a police trainee who was shot and injured in the attack. A week earlier, Dorner was the likely shooter in the killing of an Irvine man, Keith Lawrence, and woman, Monica Quan, whose father was connected to the panel that led to Dorner’s dismissal from the police force years earlier.
He had been fired for making false allegations of using excessive force by his training officer. In response, Dorner posted online threats against any law enforcement officer, along with their families, unless the LAPD admitted making a mistake.
On Tuesday, Dorner reportedly tied up two women at their Club View home in Big Bear, stole their vehicle and continued eastbound toward the Jenks Lake Area, on Highway 38, which is near Angelus Oaks. The women, found unharmed, described the assailant as resembling Dorner. Dorner reportedly crashed that vehicle, eventually carjacking a white pickup truck. The man driving the pickup was allowed to go, but he called 911, leading law enforcement officers closer to a showdown.
By 12:45 p.m., a Department of Fish & Wildlife official spotted the white pickup heading in his direction on Highway 38. He pursued the truck, and they eventually traded gunfire. The drive, who was suspected to be Dorner, wound up stuck in the snow, and fled by foot, using several smoke grenades to cover his escape, said reports, before he barricaded himself inside a vacant cabin on Seven Oaks Rd.
Law enforcement agencies surrounded the cabin with dozens of uniformed officers, trading several rounds of gunfire, which included sending tear gas into the cabin by SWAT team officers. Two deputies, shot by the suspect, were airlifted to nearby Loma Linda University Medical Center. One was declared dead at 2:24 p.m. while the other officer underwent surgery. He is expected to recover, according to county sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman.
At 4 p.m., a gunshot was heard from inside the cabin after which it caught fire and burned for several hours.