Former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner is believed to be dead inside a burning cabin last night, likely ending a five-day game of cat and mouse that has claimed at least four lives and captivated the nation.
Christopher Dorner, 33, was believed to be hiding out in the cabin, which burned to the ground after a raging gun battle in which he killed one sheriff’s deputy and wounded another.
The case has gained national attention after Christopher Dorner’s online manifesto was discovered, which included how he was targeting family members of LAPD cops who had wronged him, and shoutouts to celebrities like Charlie Sheen and Larry David.
In a press conference last night, Commander Andrew Smith of the LAPD denied reports that a body had been pulled out of the collapsed cabin, saying that the home is still too hot to search.
If his body is found among the rubble of the home, authorities will likely be looking for identifying marks on the charred remains like tattoos before confirming the identity.
Officials have not yet confirmed that the ex-LAPD cop is dead, but they say he did not leave the cabin before it was engulfed in flames and collapsed.
San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department public information officer Cindy Bachman said during a late night news conference: “They have a very large crime scene to process… At the same time, they’re mourning one of their brothers who was killed today.”
Cindy Bachman added that no one from the sheriff’s department has been able to get into the cabin, saying: “It is not safe to do that.”
Christopher Dorner had taken cover in the small building about 2:00 p.m. local time. At 4:15 p.m., it caught fire after SWAT officers fired several tear gas canisters into the windows.
The blaze spread rapidly, but deputies did not appear to budge from their positions.
A single gunshot was heard coming from inside the cabin before the cabin was fully engulfed in flames.
SWAT officers stood down and walked away from the building about 45 minutes later, KCAL-TV reported.
Earlier in the afternoon, hundreds of gunshots could be heard in the woods in San Bernardino National Forest as officers exchanged assault weapons fire with Christopher Dorner, who had promised to “wage war” against police and kill any officers who tried to stop him.
Christopher Dorner, a combat-trained U.S. Navy reserve officer, shot two San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies as he tried to make an escape from the cabin, but was driven back inside under heavy gunfire.
The firefight began when a California Fish and Game warden spotted Christopher Dorner in a stolen pickup on Tuesday morning and tried to stop him. Christopher Dorner opened fire as he fled.
He crashed the truck and then bailed out and he ran through the mountains on foot.
Federal agents and San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies pursued Christopher Dorner and engaged him in a running gun battle, KCAL-TV reports.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Christopher Dorner wounded a deputy while shooting through a window in the cabin.
He reportedly shot a second deputy after he threw a smoke bomb and tried to escape out of the back door of the building.
He was driven back by gunfire from the other officers on the scene.
The heavy gunfire meant a medical evacuation helicopter could not land near the scene.
Police threw smoke bombs to could obscure the roads so the wounded deputies could be driven to a waiting n the back of a pickup to the chopper.
Christopher Dorner has been on the run since Thursday, when he allegedly killed a police officer in Riverside and wounded two others.
He is also wanted for murdering a couple in Irvine on Feburary 3.
Police engaged with Christopher Dorner after he reportedly robbed and tied up a couple in a remote cabin 20 miles from the town of Big Bear, California.
He held the pair hostage for several days – possibly hiding out right under the noses of 150 SWAT officers who were combing the mountains looking for him.
The incident could explain how Christopher Dorner was able to survive the frigid, snowy weekend on the mountain.
He then stole their pickup truck – which is the vehicle that game wardens attempted to stop.
The encounter came as police had scaled back their presence in the mountains 100 miles east of Los Angeles six days after police across Southern California began hunting for him.
He was reportedly hiding out in a campground in the middle of the national forest, far from where police found his burned-out truck on Thursday.
Christopher Dorner purchased scuba gear two days before beginning his alleged spree, it was revealed today.
The development comes as more than 9,000 sick fans have shown their support for the alleged murderer on a Facebook page.
In video footage, Christopher Dorner can be seen purchasing the oxygen tanks at Sports Chalet in Torrance, California, on February 1.
Christopher Dorner, who was a Naval reservist, paid for the equipment in cash and appeared friendly towards the cashier, the surveillance footage shows.
The purchase further backs up how Christopher Dorner, whose online manifesto details how he planned to target the family members of LAPD cops who he feels wronged him, plotted out his revenge plot in advance.