By Donna Leinwand Leger, Chris Woodyard and Michael Winter, USA TODAY
Deputies did not intentionally burn down the Southern California
mountain cabin where fugitive Christopher Dorner apparently made his
deadly last stand Tuesday, the San Bernardino County sheriff said
"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get
Mr. Dorner out," Sheriff John McMahon said at an afternoon news
He said deputies initially fired conventional "cold"
tear gas into the cabin in Seven Oaks, near Big Bear Lake, then switched
to "pyrotechnic-type" rounds" known as "burners."
have strong evidence that the man deputies tracked to the vacation cabin
looked and behaved like Dorner, he said. And though he still could not
"absolutely, positively confirm" that the charred body found inside was
Dorner's, the sheriff said the coroner would likely make the
A wallet with a California driver's license
bearing the name Christopher Dorner was found, the Associated Press
reported earlier, citing a law enforcement official who was briefed on
"We believe the investigation is over at this point," McMahon said.
It was also revealed that during the manhunt deputies had knocked on the door of the cabin, which was built in the 1920s, but moved on when they got no answer.
do not believe Dorner was in the cabin, which showed no signs of forced
entry and had not been rented since Feb. 6, the day before Dorner's
burned-out pickup was found, said Sheriff's Deputy Chief Steve Kovensky,
who was in charge of the search.
"We did an extensive search of
that area," said Kovensky. "All the cabins in that particular area had
teams of deputies to check to see if there was any entry and if we could
The fiery conclusion to the violent standoff in the San Bernardino
Mountains was no cause for celebration to police officers working the
case, Los Angeles Police Lt. Andy Neiman said earlier Wednesday.
"It was horrifying to listen to that firefight, to hear those words 'officer down,' " Neiman said.
San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were shot, one fatally, before
fire engulfed the cabin where the 33-year-old Dorner was believed to
have taken refuge after stealing two vehicles and trading gunfire with
California wildlife officers.
"Our deepest sympathy to the families" of the deputies who were shot, Neiman said.
The Inland Empire Emerald Society,
a charity for families of fallen officers, first identified the slain
deputy as 35-year-old Detective Jeremiah MacKay, of Redlands, a 15-year
department veteran, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported Wednesday. McMahon confirmed MacKay's death at the news conference.
McMahon identified the other deputy who was shot as Alex Collins, who has undergone multiple surgeries and will require more.
"He's in good spirits and should make a full recovery after a number of additional surgeries," he added.
Authorities have not identified the weapons or caliber of bullets used in Tuesday's firefight.
McMahon said hundreds of rounds were fired.
was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go into that area.
The rounds kept coming and they did not give up," he said, calling his
men "absolutely true heroes."
MacKay's death was the fourth
slaying attributed to Dorner, who also wounded three police officers
last week in what his Facebook manifesto outlined as a campaign of
revenge for having been fired from the police department in 2009.
victims include Riverside Officer Michael Crain, 34, who was fatally
shot a week ago as he sat in his police cruiser. On Wednesday, thousands
of people gathered for Crain's funeral.
that investigations will continue at least until Dorner's body is
positively identified. LAPD, which had been on high alert since Dorner
began his rampage, has returned to normal operations, Neiman said.
Still, police will continue to protect dozens of officers and others Dorner threatened in his rambling manifesto, Neiman said.
task force is still in place, and they will work until there's nothing
left to be done," he said. "We don't just stop a murder case simply
because we think that the suspect in that case" is dead.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andrew Smith said it
was "highly likely" that Dorner had been inside when authorities heard a
single gunshot and saw the cabin burning after SWAT teams had fired
tear gas inside as part of a "tactical operation" that involved tearing
down its walls to flush out Dorner.
Police said Dorner had been
holed up since Thursday in a different cabin - 20 to 30 yards from the
site where news media gathered and received sheriff's briefings daily on
the massive manhunt after Dorner's burned truck was found earlier that
Dorner was discovered Tuesday by two cleaning women who
entered the cabin. Lt. Patrick Foy, with the California Fish and
Wildlife Department, said Dorner tied them up with plastic zip ties and
left in their car, wrecked it, then stole a truck from its driver.
Heltebrake, the Boy Scout camp manager whose truck Dorner commandeered,
said Wednesday that he was exhausted from taking calls from media and
well-wishers all night.
"We just want to go on from here," Heltebrake said as he came by a police checkpoint in Angelus Oaks.
He described his encounter with the fugitive - which he said lasted
about 10 seconds - as if it were a business transaction. A terrifying
moment? "I didn't feel like it was. He said he didn't want to hurt me
and I believed him," he said.
"There was no panic," Heltebrake said. "I got a little freaked when I heard the gunfire."
was dressed in military-style camouflage and was toting only one
weapon, an military-style rifle. The victim, who runs a camp for Boy
Scouts of America, says he didn't get a good look at it because it was
pointed right at him.
He added that Dorner did not look
disheveled, unshaven or like a man whom might have been holed up under
difficult conditions for a week.
He is grateful, in fact, that Doerner let him take his beloved 3-year-old Dalmatian, Suni, when he bailed from his truck.
"That was a little bit of compassion," he said.
said he then dove into a snowbank and hid behind a tree when he heard
the gunfire moments later. He didn't know California game wardens were
right behind Dorner.
After exchanging gunfire with officers,
Dorner ran into the woods and broke into the cabin. As SWAT closed in, a
single shot was heard inside before the cabin was engulfed in flames.
As the fire grew, more gunshots were heard - apparently ammunition
ignited by the fire, authorities said.
Authorities let the cabin burn.
won't allow them (firefighters) to get close to the cabin,'' said
sheriff's spokeswoman Cathy Bachman. "It's just not safe.''
previously was charged with killing Crain, the Riverside police
officer, and was the prime suspect in the murders of Monica Quan and her
fiancé, Keith Lawrence, on Feb. 3. She was the daughter of a retired
Los Angeles police captain whom Dorner blamed for his firing after
reporting alleged abuse by another officer. Randal Quan represented
Dorner during his termination hearing.
Los Angeles Police Chief
Charlie Beck had called Dorner "a domestic terrorist," and a $1 million
reward, raised from public and private sources, was offered. Police
received more than 1,000 tips.
Neiman said it was not clear who, if anyone, might claim the reward if the body is confirmed to be that of Dorner.
Contributing: William M. Welch in Los Angeles and John Bacon in McLean, Va.