Sheriff Says Officers Did Not Intentionally Burn Ex-Cop’s Cabin
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The apparent downfall of a fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer unfolded like a Hollywood blockbuster: a frantic car chase, shootouts, and even two last acts of compassion by a man who promised to wage "warfare" against all those who wronged him. Below is Fish and Game spokesman Lt. Patrick Foy's detailed account of Tuesday's high-speed chase, along with reporting from other AP staff:
Holed up in a vacation rental cabin, fugitive Christopher Dorner is surprised by two housekeepers who regularly clean the place. Despite being the target of a massive manhunt and an accused killer, Dorner doesn't shoot. Instead, he ties up the women and takes their purple Nissan for a desperate getaway. Sparing the housekeepers ultimately would be his undoing.
One of the women breaks free and calls 911. Hundreds of law enforcement officers spread out over the mountain looking for the telltale purple car.
Dorner drives out on Highway 38, a meandering road along a scenic lake. Two school buses are ahead of him on the road. Parked on the opposite side of the road are a San Bernardino Sheriff's vehicle and a green truck operated by wardens of the Fish and Wildlife Department. The deputies see Dorner and the purple truck and get ready to throw down spike strips to puncture Dorner's tires.
Likely anticipating that, the former cop pulls in close behind the school buses, speeds around the buses, then suddenly turns onto a side road. The wardens quickly turn around and pass the bus themselves, not realizing Dorner has turned off the main road. He escapes — for the moment.
On the side road, Dorner dumps his purple truck and emerges from the woods, waving a gun and forcing a passing truck to stop. The driver immediately recognizes Dorner from the news and asks if he can keep his Dalmatian. Dorner takes the truck, but leaves the dog and continues on the side road.
A warden in a wildlife vehicle is searching for Dorner when he sees a white truck heading his way, driving erratically. As the truck gets closer, the warden realizes Dorner is at the wheel and is rolling down his car window. He doesn't have time to warn two colleagues following behind him. Within seconds, the second car is sprayed with bullets. Miraculously, neither officer is struck.
As Dorner navigates a curve in the road that turns his truck back toward officers, one of the wardens empties his weapon.
Dorner crashes the truck a few miles down the road. Out of options, he runs into another cabin and barricades himself inside.
In a final attempt to escape, he fires from the cabin, wounding two deputies. One would die later at a hospital. After shouting at Dorner to surrender, police begin to tear the cabin apart. As they peel away the cabin's walls, a single gunshot is heard. A fire breaks out, and the cabin burns to the ground.
Authorities recover what they believe are Dorner's charred remains. It's still unclear how he died.
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