All that appears to be left of violent fugitive Christopher Dorner are charred human remains found in a burned-out cabin in the Big Bear ski resort area near Los Angeles CA at approximately 7 pm local time. Dorner is believed to have taken refuge in the cabin as police closed in. According to various media reports, after a torrent of hundreds of gunshots, police threw a tear-gas bomb into the cabin at about 5 pm. When the fugitive did not surrender, a gun shot was heard. Subsequently, the police tore down the walls of the refuge one by one as a fire started in the structure. Authorities believe that the blackened remains of the former police officer and U.S. Navy lieutenant were in the burned cabin, but will not be certain until several weeks have transpired during an identification process.
The former Los Angeles Police officer and suspected killer Christopher Dorner had eluded a dragnet following a high-speed car chase and shoot out that wounded at least two officers on February 12. One of the deputies wounded by Dorner was airlifted to a hospital and is now deceased. The other officer has undergone surgery and is expected to live.
The cabin where Dorner took refuge caught fire and slowly burned down. There were not signs of escape. The cause of the fire is still unknown. However, tear gas grenades have been known to have caused combustion in the past in similar incidents. There were also reports of unexplained explosions inside the cabin as the suspect and law officer exchanged gunfire.
(Slain Officer Michael Crain)
Authorities asked the media to squelch their live aerial broadcasts and withhold from tweeting live updates from the stand off. Law enforcement switched away from publicly monitored radio frequencies immediately after announcing a plan to “go ahead with the burner,” users on Twitter said.
In a press conference, LAPD spokesman Andrew Smith called on Dorner “Enough is enough, it's time to turn yourself in,” suggesting that Dorner was watching the news inside his hideout. “It’s time for this incident to be over.” Dorner had been fingered as a suspect in three murders in Southern California. He is now suspected of killing two law officers. Authorities have formally charged him with one of the crimes.
Dorner had been faces charges of providing a false report of abuse of a suspect supposedly perpetrated by a superior officer. Facing dismissal, Dorner issued a manifesto charging racial discrimination and corruption on the part of the LAPD. According to a manifesto that authorities say he posted on Facebook, Dorner claimed that the LAPD unjustly fired him several years ago, after a disciplinary panel determined that he lied in accusing his training officer of kicking a mentally ill man during an arrest. LAPD police have promised to review the case. The manifesto promised "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against law enforcement officers and their families. "Self-preservation is no longer important to me. I do not fear death as I died long ago," wrote Dorner allegedly.
A $1 million reward had been offered for the arrest of Dorner, who was once celebrated for his military service. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had called for an end to the "reign of terror" brought by Dorner. Police used helicopters in the Big Bear area, while airports and the US/Mexico border were under surveillance to prevent Dorner's escape. During the manhunt, police officers shot and seriously wounded two women in Los Angeles who were delivering newspapers from a pickup truck resembling the one Dorner used for his escape. Both are expected to survive.
(Victim Keith Lawrence)
Law enforcement authorities say that the first people to be killed by Dorner were the daughter of the retired LAPD official who represented him at his disciplinary hearing and her fiance. Monica Quan (28) and Keith Lawrence (27) were found shot to death on February 3 in their car. By February 7, authorities said Dorner fled to Corona, where he fired at an LAPD officer searching for him. Soon thereafter, Dorner allegedly shot to death Riverside officer Michael Crain, 34, and injuring his partner. The butcher's bill for Dorner's rampage now stands at four dead.
(Victim Monica Quan)
Some support for accused killer Dorner emerged on Facebook and in public. Some Angelenos were observed over the last few days sporting t-shirts emblazoned with the words Not Chris Dorner. Don't shoot,' while others bore placards expressing support.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.