The hunt for Christopher Dorner, the former L.A. cop suspected of killing at least three people during a revenge-seeking rampage, is believed to have come to an end after police found charred human remains and Dorner’s driver’s license in the burned cabin where Dorner made his last stand.
After searching for Dorner for two weeks, police finally tracked him down on Tuesday at cabin in California’s San Bernardino Mountains. The attempt to apprehend him from the cabin resulted in an intense shootout, in which he killed one sheriff’s deputy and wounded another. SWAT teams were firing in tear gas and tearing down walls in an effort to flush him out when the building erupted in flames.
Just before the blaze, police heard a single gunshot come from inside the cabin.
Earlier Dorner posted a lengthy rant on Facebook where he said he expected to die a violent death while in a final confrontation with police. Police believe the gunshot followed by the fire was Dorner’s way of fulfilling his own prediction.
Until forensics confirms the identification, police won’t know for sure if the human remains are Dorner. However, along with the body, police found a wallet, drivers license, and personal items that belonged to the former police officer, all of which lead investigators to think it is high likely that the burned body is indeed Dorner. Still, until he’s positively identified, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith says the department is proceeding under “tactical alert … as if he’s still out there,” and will continue protecting dozens of officers and their families who were threatened in Dorner’s online manifesto.
Dorner, 33, began his campaign for revenge after claiming the LAPD wrongly fired him in 2009. He felt he was a victim of racism and fired for doing the right thing. In his manifesto he vowed to get even and reclaim his good name by getting even with those who wronged him.
“You’re going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!” the rant said. “You have awoken a sleeping giant.”
Apparently, Dorner had been holed up since Thursday in a different cabin directly across from the police’s command post. For days they scoured the mountains with everything from bloodhounds to helicopters and never suspected he was hiding only 20 to 30 yards away from the site where news media and police gathered for daily briefings.
Dorner was only forced to flee his hideout after two cleaning women happened to enter the cabin. The 6-foot, 270-pound man police described as “extremely dangerous” tied the two women up with plastic zip ties and escaped in their car. Later he stole a truck, and shortly thereafter police pursued him to the final cabin.
The manhunt for Dorner began after he became the prime suspect in the murder of Monica Quan and her fiancé. Monica was the daughter of retired police captain Randall Quan whom Dorner blamed for his firing. He is also charged with killing Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain.