UPDATE (Thursday, Feb. 14 — 4:15 p.m.): Medical examiners have positively identified the human remains found Tuesday evening in the burned-down cabin as those of suspected killer Christopher Dorner, according to multiple media sources.
UPDATE (Wednesday, Feb. 13 — 12:15 a.m.): San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller has told the Associated Press and other media outlets that human remains have been found inside the burned-out cabin. It is unconfirmed whether the remains are those of suspect Christopher Dorner.
The manhunt for the suspected killer of USC Dept. of Public Safety officer Keith Lawrence, his fiancee Monica Quan and two law enforcement officers has taken a dramatic turn.
Law enforcement engaged in a shootout on Tuesday with a suspect, believed to be ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner, who had holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif. The confrontation ended with the cabin in flames, leaving questions of whether or not a body was found inside.
Several media sources said a body was found Tuesday evening in the remains of the cabin. These reports, however, conflict with the LAPD’s official announcement that no body has been found as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. If and when the body is found, it will also have to identified by law enforcement, a process that could take days or even weeks, according to LAPD.
Dorner, the suspect-at-large for the murders, was tracked into the mountains after his truck was found burning in the area last week. Law enforcement began searching the Big Bear area over the weekend, checking cabin-by-cabin for any evidence or tips.
Earlier Tuesday, Dorner allegedly broke into a home near Big Bear, tied up the residents and stole a pickup truck, according to the Los Angeles Times. Later that day, Dorner was allegedly spotted by state California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, which led to a shootout between the two vehicles. Dorner then allegedly crashed the stolen truck and went inside a nearby cabin; though reports suggest he tried to escape into the woods, law enforcement kept him at bay until reinforcements arrived, according to multiple media reports.
When police arrived, they exchanged gunfire with the suspect and eventually broke down windows, fired tear gas into the cabin and asked over a loudspeaker for Dorner’s surrender. Not hearing a response, law enforcement used vehicles to begin ripping down the cabin’s walls one by one, according to various media sources. With one wall remaining, police heard a single gunshot, and flames began to engulf the remaining structure, according to the Times.
Two San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were wounded; one of the deputies died from the injury, according to media reports. Dorner allegedly has now killed four people; along with Lawrence and Quan, Riverside police officer Michael Crain was killed in an ambush, according to ABC News.