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Christopher Dorner Possibly Committed Suicide

Sheriff officials said the murder suspect appeared to have committed suicide as tear gas and flames enveloped the Big Bear cabin.

A fired Los Angeles police officer who was accused of killing four people, including a Riverside police officer, and whose charred remains were found inside a burned-out Big Bear cabin after a shootout with law enforcement died from a gunshot wound to the head, San Bernardino County sheriff's officials said Friday.

Sheriff's officials said more testing was being done, but it appeared that 33-year-old Christopher Jordan Dorner—who was also suspected of killing two people in Irvine and a San Bernardino County sheriff's detective—committed suicide as tear gas and flames enveloped the cabin.

Dorner's remains, which were found in the basement of the cabin, were identified Thursday using dental records, officials said.

Dorner died at the end of a fierce standoff and gunfight Tuesday afternoon at a Seven Oaks cabin in Big Bear. Sheriff's deputies eventually fired tear gas canisters into the cabin and a fire erupted, burning the structure to the ground.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon insisted today that deputies did not intentionally set fire to the cabin to get Dorner out of the cabin, despite comments heard on scanner broadcasts by some law enforcement officers at the scene saying they should burn the structure down. McMahon said the comments were not made by command personnel and were unauthorized off-hand remarks by deputies or officers who were under heavy fire.

McMahon also defended his deputies' search of the area following the discovery Feb. 7 of Dorner's burning truck in the area. Dorner had apparently been hiding out in a cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive -- overlooking the sheriff's command post.

McMahon said deputies went to the cabin that night and found the door locked, and nobody responded to a knock. Investigators later discovered that the cabin's owners -- 66-year-old Jim and 56-year-old Karen Reynolds -- had actually left the door unlocked, an indication that Dorner had already entered the cabin and was hiding inside when deputies knocked at the door.

The sheriff said he supported the job done by deputies on the search, saying he did not authorize them to kick in cabin doors.

Dorner was discovered shortly after noon Tuesday when Jim and Karen Reynolds entered the cabin to prepare it for a pending rental. Dorner tied them up and stole their car, crashed it and carjacked a truck before winding up in the Seven Oaks cabin, where the gunbattle and fire ensued.

During the exchange of gunfire, San Bernardino County sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay, 35, was killed, and Deputy Alex Collins was wounded. Collins was expected to make a full recovery.

Authorities said Dorner's killing spree began Feb. 3, when the former Navy Reserve lieutenant allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in- law of an ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD.

The bodies of 28-year-old Cal State Fullerton assistant women's basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old USC public safety Officer Keith Lawrence, were found in Lawrence's car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.

The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto online, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. About 50 Los Angeles police officers and their families were under police protection during the manhunt.

On Feb. 7, Dorner was allegedly involved in a shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer's home in Corona, leaving one officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on a pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Officer Michael Crain, 34, and wounding the other, who was expected to recover.

Crain, an 11-year department veteran and ex-Marine, is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. He was buried Wednesday at Riverside National Cemetery after a memorial service at Grove Community Church. Among the thousands of people paying their final respects were Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris, military veterans and thousands of police officers from around the state and country.

-City News Service

Cyclist February 16, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Not a surprise. Dorner was a coward to the end. Had a beef with LAPD but killed a Riverside Sheriff, a S.B. Sheriff, and two civilians. What a wacko. R.I.H.
John Lloyd February 16, 2013 at 07:14 AM
It's funny how this has to be phrased. "Dorner Possibly Committed Suicide". So someone possibly crawled into the house while it was burning and shot him, then ran away, all while a dozen cops and a helicopter watched. Ya. It could happen!
Roberto February 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Police recorded yelling burn the BEEP BEEP building down then the building burns. Officers reported entering the structure before the fire. Real conspiracy story here.
JP February 16, 2013 at 04:02 PM
No, the article is stating Dorner possibly shot himself vs. burning to a crisp as cause of death. They know he is dead, just looking for the actual cause. Bullet vs. fire.
V.W.D.S. February 16, 2013 at 04:16 PM
@John - there were SWAT teams surrounding the place and plenty of exchange of gunfire. It is quite possible he could have been hit in the exchange. Perhaps wounded, and then shot himself knowing he might burn alive. Regardless. the man left a pathetic legacy if you ask me. So the LAPD is crooked - (according to his manifesto) his resentment festering for years even over childhood wrongs. That is not an excuse to kill innocent people, nor is it an excuse to exercise an agenda to seek revenge killing law enforcement. The guy was a nutjob. Quite stupid if you analyze the facts. He would have been better off writing a book about his grievances and gaining an audience in a respectable manner rather than this 'revenge' agenda. Shows you how stupid and childish he truly was. He was bound to end up dead one way or another.
big aunt harry mary February 16, 2013 at 05:01 PM
no !?!?!? really.... come on... this is news ? he was trapped and knew the party was over.... come on..
Imperfect Man February 17, 2013 at 12:12 AM
What is interesting to me is the paragraph that says the Sheriff insists the fire wasn't started "intentionally" - "San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon insisted today that deputies did not intentionally set fire to the cabin to get Dorner out of the cabin, despite comments heard on scanner broadcasts by some law enforcement officers at the scene saying they should burn the structure down. McMahon said the comments were not made by command personnel and were unauthorized off-hand remarks by deputies or officers who were under heavy fire." According to this video (actually an audio with pictures) http://youtu.be/SCdqybEfy9w that seems quite descriptive of exactly what was going on. And it WAS "command" personnel making the call. I would like to know how Mr. John McMahon would twist what is contained in the YouTube version of the story. There doesn't even seem to be room for plausible denial in this one. IF - what was done is within the law and totally excusable, WHY THE NEED TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC??? I know it's legal for law enforcement to lie, but there comes a point when honesty and integrity should play some role, even if it is a minor role, at least give it some place. We all should know that declaring war upon any law enforcement agency is suicidal in and of itself. So, an announcement that Mr. Dorner may have committed suicide is rather redundant. I guess it's all about damage control now.. Hey Mr. Sheriff?
JZ February 17, 2013 at 02:43 AM
they burned him to death, he had no way out, the LAPD and SB Sheriffs are the cowards, 300 officers, could not take him on, and get him out, so they did the easy way out, he didn't stand a chance, and he was never convicted or charged in any killings and the orange county DA says there case is still open, hummmm
SA February 19, 2013 at 07:06 PM
JZ – Really? The PDs were cowards? I have spoken to a few friends that are on both forces and they all were scared to death. The Officers did use the term “burner” which most of the time the “burner” tear gas or Lachrymatory agents have the possibility to start fires. Yes he was charged and correct he did not stand a chance as that was the point. Dorner was a terrorist and now a dead terrorist (the best kind).
John law February 20, 2013 at 03:57 PM
If those officers where scared then they shouldn't be police officers ie they where bullies who were getting bullied or scared of retaliation ie cowards learn too tell the difference
SA February 20, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Mr. Law, your statement was simply ignorant!
big aunt harry mary February 21, 2013 at 05:26 AM
lets cut the crap.... he was caught with no way out.. every smoke grenade will and can cause a fire. all of those little bombs do.... once he knew he wasnt going anywhere, he likely shot himself. human nature would have made him try to escape since your instincts wont let you just sit there and burn. .. escape to what? a firing squad.... of course he offed himself... where is this a surprise to anyone...? just like suicide by cop. it happens.. he knew he was done..
big aunt harry mary February 21, 2013 at 05:32 AM
the witnesses are a pretty good inclination that he was exactly the man they were after... i dont think that many victims are going to be wrong. with his threats and the cops that were fired on or killed, this was the best outcome. no trial, no waste of tax dollars, no appeals, no long term prison stay.... DONE.. just like the cops who were shot. they didnt get a choice either.. tuff cookies dorner... suck it up

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