LA Manhunt: Police Believe Body Is Dorner

14 February 2013

Police officers who tracked Christopher Dorner to the remote cabin where he is believed to have staged his violent last stand faced a "warzone", US authorities have said.

Charred human remains discovered inside the property in California's Big Bear Lake area have not yet been "absolutely" identified, but the San Bernardino County sheriff said he considered the six-day manhunt for the fugitive ex-cop to be over.

Sheriff John McMahon also confirmed the fire that engulfed the mountain cabin had started after police used highly flammable tear gas canisters in an attempt to drive out the suspected murderer.

Sheriff McMahon paid tribute to wounded officer Deputy Sheriff Alex Collins and his colleague, Detective Jeremiah MacKay, who was killed in the gun battle with Dorner.

He said: "The deputy sheriffs who responded to this active shooting situation are true heroes, the rounds being fired, it was absolutely incredible.

"It was like a warzone and our deputies continued to go in and tried to neutralise and stop the threat. The rounds kept coming but the deputy sheriffs didn't give up."

The sheriff said the results of forensic tests were due soon, but the description of the man pursued by police and the behaviour of the suspect at the cabin matched Dorner.

Suggestions that police intended to start the blaze that brought the stand-off were untrue, Sheriff McMahon said.

He said officers had tried to order the suspect out of the cabin and then fired "cold" tear gas canisters before switching to "hotter" pyrotechnic tear gas - commonly referred to as "burners".

He said: "We did not intentionally burn the cabin ... we introduced those canisters and a fire erupted."

Deputy Collins is said to be recovering well in hospital after he was injured in the shootout in the forest.

Sheriff McMahon said Detective MacKay, who died from injuries sustained in the battle, had been with the department for 15 years and had a daughter, seven, and a four-month-old son.

The noise of the gun battle was broadcast by KCAL-TV, whose reporter suddenly found himself near the scene.

A law enforcement official said a single shot was heard as police moved in on the cabin.

The suspect did not come out of the property as it was engulfed in flames.

In one audio clip purporting to be a police scanner conversation, a male voice can be heard saying: "All right, Steve, we're gonna go, er, we're gonna go forward with the plan, with, er, with the burn. We want it, er, like we talked about.

"Seven burners deployed and we have a fire."

Authorities focused their hunt for Dorner, 33, in the mountains after he apparently launched a campaign to exact revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for dismissing him.

Dorner, a former US Navy reservist, is suspected of killing a couple on February 3 and then ambushing two policemen early last Thursday, killing one of them.

He made threats against the LAPD in an angry rant on Facebook, after which officers were assigned to protect members of staff and their families.

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