Update 10:27 p.m. A press conference addressing the final days and hours of a manhunt in the San Bernardino Mountains that gripped Southern California and the nation ended with more questions about law enforcement's final showdown with Christopher Dorner.
A reporter told Sheriff John McMahon, "You said on Wednesday that you did not intentionally burn that cabin down to get Mr. Dorner out. You may know I was at the scene that day and audio we recorded there suggests differently.
"We heard several officers saying 'Let's end the gun battle, let's burn that cabin down. Let's burn that expletive out.' Which leads me to believe that may have been the plan all along."
McMahon responded, "Yes sir I did make that statement on Wednesday at the press conference that we did not intentionally burn that cabin down. I stand by that remark.
"There is some recordings that I have heard on the news that would suggest that somebody, we have no idea at this point who, made those comments. We are looking into those and we'll deal with those appropriately," McMahon said.
"I would suggest to you that those comments were made by somebody away from the tactical team. They were not covered over the radio is my understanding, that they were made by somebody away from the tactical team," McMahon said.
"The other thing to remember is our deputy sheriffs and the other officers that were present are human beings. They had just been involved in probably one of the most fierce firefights, and sometimes because we're humans we say things that may or may not be appropriate.
"We will look into this and we will deal with it appropriately," McMahon said.
Another reporter asked, "Can you say where his body was found?"
Sgt. Trevis Newport of the sheriff's Homicide Division responded, "Mr. Dorner's remains were found in a basement area, which would be the northwest portion of the residence."
Another reporter asked, "Sheriff, you said it was such an intense firefight. Has it been ruled out that both the officer who was killed and the officer who was injured that it was indeed not friendly fire?"
McMahon responded, "Yes it has. They were the first two on the scene, and they were standing outside of their vehicle in front of that cabin, when Christopher Dorner started shooting from that cabin at our deputy sheriffs."
The reporter asked a followup, "So they were alone when they first confronted him?"
McMahon answered, "There were other patrol cars pulling up at the same time they were formulating a plan. Our officers had not even pulled their guns out at that point, and were not prepared to engage anybody, and they were ambushed by Christopher Dorner."
Another reporter asked, "Was Dorner firing on your officers with a .50 caliber weapon?"
McMahon responded, "I'm not sure what type of weapon he was firing at our officers with. We've recovered some weapons that Sgt. Newport talked about already today. I'm not sure at this point if we have enough information to suggest which weapon was used to fire at our deputy sheriffs."
The reporter asked a followup, "Did you recover a .50 caliber weapon from the cabin?"
Newport responded, "No, we did not recover a .50 caliber weapon from the cabin."
Another reporter asked "Can you discuss the decision to use pyrotechnic gases?"
Capt. Herbert of the sheriff's Special Enforcement Division responded, "Not in all instances do these devices cause a fire, but weighing the decision and trying to get an effective amount of chemical agent into that cabin to try to get Mr. Dorner to surrender, this was our only option.
"The cold gas did not work. We had to go to the next type of chemical agent in hopes of getting him to surrender," Herbert said.
A reporter asked Herbert, "Do you know how many pyrotechnic grenades were used sir?"
Herbert said, "I do, but at this point in the investigation we're still compiling a lot of numbers and compiling what we've learned from the scene, and I'm not prepared to release amounts of devices right now."
A reporter said to McMahon, "We've talked to people who said they never saw any officers coming to their cabins, they never saw any footprints from either officers or even perhaps Christopher Dorner leading to that cabin where he was. Can you respond to that?"
McMahon said, "Are you talking about the cabin that was in Angelus Oaks or are you talking about the residences in Big Bear?"
The reporter responded, "Yeah, I'm talking about the residences in Big Bear. The Reynolds said yesterday that they never saw any police officers during any of this search period, stop by the cabins, and neither did any of their renters. What time did your officers and what day did they go out there?"
McMahon answered, "Thursday evening is when the deputy sheriffs searched that. We also tied a piece of yellow evidence tape on the corner of that building, which was a marker to our other deputies that we actually checked that, that there was nothing discovered there that was unusual, and our deputies continued searching throughout that whole entire complex."
Another reporter asked a followup, " . . . the door was locked?"
McMahon responded, "Yes sir. Thursday evening the door was locked when our deputy sheriffs."
Another reporter, "So the thinking is that Dorner was inside and locked it after the Reynolds left it unlocked?"
McMahon said, "It would appear that is the case because when our deputy sheriffs checked it, it was locked. Nobody answered. Thursday evening."
A reporter asked, "If in fact he was hiding in plain sight and in his manifesto had indicated that command centers, command posts were rich targets, would it have given you at least a tactical plan for scouring that immediate area?"
McMahon answered, "We did scour that area thoroughly. Our deputy sheriffs did a great job checking that neighborhood. Understand we found the door locked at that condominium. My instructions were that we were not going to kick the doors open to unoccupied residences or ones where nobody answered. If it was secure and there were no signs of forced entry, we were not going to kick the doors of several cabins, or hundreds of cabins, open during that search.
"There was nothing unusual and the door was locked," McMahon said. "Nobody answered. We continued on to the next target."
Another reporter asked, "Sheriff, today a resident found another gun about a mile away from the burned out cabin, with a silencer on it. Can you talk about that? Do you believe that that gun was used by Christopher Dorner, and if so, how did it get missed?"
Newport responded, "As you may know, these investigations are very intense and complicated. We have a lot of area to cover. The night that investigators began the crime scene search there was over a foot of snow along the roadways.
"I can tell you metal detectors had been used, investigators had walked the tracks that we believed Mr. Dorner took, the trail which took him back out onto the highway. At that time we did not find that weapon. It wasn't until the sun came out, it started to heat up, the snow started to melt, it was about a few inches thick at that time. The weapon could be seen very easily at that time."
The same reporter asked, "So you do believe the weapon found today was another one of his?"
Newport said, "I can say that it is very consistent with the weapon systems that he's been using, due to the silencer that was found on it, the suppressor, but I cannot say for sure at this time that it was used by him."
Another reporter asked, "And are these actual weapons recovered . . . or are these just similar?"
Newport said, "There is one on the table that was actually recovered."
The reporter asked, "Which one is that?"
Newport said, "That would be the .308-caliber bolt-action rifle with the sniper scope on it."
McMahon added, "That is the gun that's got the bipod on it, with the scope."
Another reporter asked, "Is it a decision that you still would make again, to not force entry into the cabins in that immediate area?"
McMahon said, "Absolutely."
The same reporter said, "Wasn't the public told a search, a thorough search was done, and doesn't that imply more than just looking to see if the door was locked?"
McMahon said, "The public was told that a thorough search was done and I'm thoroughly convinced that our officers did a thorough search of that area. I will not allow the officers to kick doors open that belong to residents that are not home. We have no right to enter those residences regardless of who we're looking for, and I will not allow the officers to force entry into somebody's residence."
Another reporter asked, "Will you release the 911 calls from both the couple, and also the person who was carjacked?"
McMahon said, "We will release that information as the investigation continues. When we have all the information documented, at some point we will release that information."
Another reporter asked, "Can you release the drivers license that was found outside the . . . cabin?"
Newport responded, "First of all, obviously you folks know this is an ongoing investigation. We're still very early in the investigation, so there are many things that we don't want to release at this time. Eventually that may end up being released. Also, I should correct you, that was not found outside, it was found on Mr. Dorner's person."
A reporter asked, "Capt. Herbert can I ask a question? Do you train with pyrotechnic tear gas?"
Another reporter asked, "Can you give us the timeline about when the search actually began? When the truck was first reported on fire, when you first suspected that it could be Dorner, and when an actual search began in the mountains?"
McMahon said, "Shortly before 9 o'clock is when the vehicle was discovered on fire on the forestry road. We did not know at that point if in fact it was Dorner's vehicle. It matched the description. Our officers were reluctant to go up to that vehicle, assuming or possibly it was going to be an ambush based on hs prior actions.
"Our deputies stayed back away from the vehicle until the tactical teams arrived and an armored personnel carrier arrived," McMahon said. "Once we figured out in fact it was Dorner's vehicle we assembled a team of deputy sheriffs that were locally at the Big Bear area, and we had also ordered additional resources prior to that to come from other areas of the county to begin searching.
"So in the early afternoon on Thursday is when we started searching for him."
A reporter asked, "Is there any concern any more about an accomplice . . . I know you're still compiling evidence but you did say two days ago that the investigation was over, so do you think that he acted alone and that there's no other threat, that there will be no other criminal charges?"
McMahon said, "The investigation is over as far as San Bernardino County is concerned. There's other investigations going on in other law enforcement jurisdictions and I will not comment on what the status of their investigations are."
A reporter asked, " . . . Big Bear Lake in the first place?"
McMahon answered, "We have no information as to why he ended up in Big Bear. I'm not sure, and that may come out through the investigation but at this point we have no information as to why he ended up in Big Bear.
A reporter asked, "Are you investigating how he obtained his weapons, and might there be any charge against any retailers?"
McMahon said, "That's all part of the investigation and I'm not sure what that will result. Also the other law enforcement agencies that are affected by this are also continuing their investigations and what they do with it is up to them."
A reporter asked, "The personnel reduction on Monday to 25, what was the tactical thinking at that point, that he had left, that he wouldn't have survived the weather conditions?"
McMahon answered, "It could have been either one, that he had left the area or that he was still up on the mountain and couldn't survive the weather conditions. We had no additional information to give us any further leads, no sightings, nothing to suggest that Mr. Dorner was still there, so we started to scale down our search."
A reporter asked, "Sheriff, what would you have done differently, if anything?"
McMahon said, "I don't believe that we've made any mistakes at this point. There's some comments that were made that we talked about earlier, however the search itself, our deputy sheriffs performed flawlessly. They worked in those weather conditions on Friday. You saw the footage. It was snowing harder than I've seen it snow.
"Those deputy sheriffs, both the ones that were searching the residences as well as the SWAT guys, were coming in and out of the command post covered in snow, and there's photos of'em to prove it. Those guys were doing their darndest to make sure they found him. They did not give up.
"They continued working throughout the night, and I tell you if we wouldn't have sent some of them home they would have stayed until they dropped. These guys are absolutely incredible and I couldn't be prouder to be a member of this department, and support those deputy sheriffs that were out there trying to protect the citizens of Big Bear."
A reporter asked, "Sheriff I'm getting the sense that you feel people are criticizing your deputies, which I don't think anybody is. The question is when you have a suspect like this, who is military and police trained, if you're not going in buildings, what are the searchers doing? You certainly couldn't have expected him to be out there in plain sight."
McMahon responded, "We continued to go back through those neighborhoods and search to make sure that we didn't discover any additional cabins that were broken into, doors open, anything to indicate somebody had broken into any residence that wasn't broken into in our previous search.
"We continued to check, continued to see if there were any leads, any sightings to prove that Mr. Dorner was still in that area."
A reporter asked, "How did he get such a large cache of weapons to the cabin from the burnt out truck? Have you determined that, undetected? It was a large cache of weapons, clearly a lot for one person to carry. Have you determined how he got from the burnt out truck to the cabin where he was staying undetected?"
McMahon, "I have not. We're still investigating that and I'm not sure how he got all that stuff to the condo."
Another reporter asked, "So do you think he acted with someone, do you think there was an accomplice? I know you said there's other agencies working on this, but what do you think? Do you think he had help?"
McMahon said, "There's no information to suggest he had any help. But that's all part of the investigation."
A reporter asked, "Did he communicate with anyone, by cell phone, there were reports he communicated with his mother?"
McMahon said, "Not that we're aware of. There was no communication we are aware of. Thank you very much."
Update 7:17 p.m. During his six days in the San Bernardino Mountains, multi-murder suspect Christopher Dorner's arsenal of weapons included high-powered assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, handguns, 10 silencers, CS gas, body armor and a military style Kevlar helmet, a sheriff's homicide sergeant said at a news conference Friday.
"You'll see there's a number of items here on the table that were recovered as a part of our investigation," San Bernardino County sheriff John McMahon said. "Sgt. Trevis Newport from our homicide division will explain those items."
Newport spoke and gestured towards weapons on a table, including a camouflage-patterned assault rifle with the word "Vengeance" printed on the shoulder stock.
"The following is a summary of the items we have recovered from some of the scenes and some of the vehicles that were occupied by Mr. Dorner," Newport said.
"Numerous assault weapons were recovered, as well as numerous semiautomatic handguns, many of them are the same style you see over there on the table.
"One of which is a sniper rifle, a bolt-action, .308 caliber, which is considered a very dangerous and high-powered weapon," Newport said. "Numerous high-capacity magazines consistent with those used for .223 and .308 caliber rifles were located.
"Numerous canisters of CS gas and smoke were located, both on Mr. Dorner's person and at scenes occupied by Mr. Dorner.
"A tactical style load-bearing vest equipped with high-capacity rifle magazines as well as additional CS canisters were recovered from the area occupied by Mr. Dorner, and a military style Kevlar helmet was also located at one of the locations occupied by Mr. Dorner," Newport said.
"A total of 10 suppressors, also known as silencers, were found to be the same type of silencers used with these types of weapons, so we have concluded, not only because of the fact that some of them were actually on weapons possessed by Mr. Dorner, but also that they were possessed within some of the items possessed by him, that those items belonged to Mr. Dorner."
Update 6:37 p.m. The first two deputies who confronted fugitive multi-murder suspect Christopher Dorner at a cabin east of Angelus Oaks on Feb. 12 were both shot, and the next officers on scene found them both lying wounded in the line of fire, Capt. Gregg Herbert of the San Bernardino County sheriff's Special Enforcement Division said in a news conference Friday.
Herbert described a pitched gun battle in which some officers risked their own safety under intense gunfire to rescue fallen comrades.
"When our first SWAT deputies arrived on scene, they observed Detective MacKay and Deputy Collins laying in the road, out in the open," Herbert told reporters.
"The first five officers that showed up quickly formed a plan. They knew they needed to rescue both our downed officers. So as they exchanged gunfire with the suspect in the cabin, trying to push him back so that he couldn't keep shooting at them, they deployed smoke to put a smoke screen up and block the suspect's view of where the deputies were laying on the ground.
"They then raced out into the open, still under fire, because he was firing through the smoke, and they managed to drag both the injured officers back to cover," Herbert said.
"At the same time, additional SWAT deputies were showing up on both sides of the scene. There was a team supervisor that began giving orders trying to set containment, however every time they tried to move, Dorner was shooting at them.
"I arrived a short time later," Herbert said. "There was bullets snapping through the trees as more of the SWAT deputies showed up. Eventually we were able to get two sides of the cabin covered, and we were able to gain some advantage trading gunfire with him so that he quit shooting at us for a certain amount of time.
"As we started to try to get more deputies on the perimeter, he would start shooting at us again, and we had to return fire to protect our deputies. We eventually got containment set on the house to ensure that he couldn't run away into the surrounding forest.
"The entire time we were there, when we would move he would shoot at us, and so the officers were forced to take cover the entire time if they weren't returning fire," Herbert said.
"We elected to insert what's called cold gas into the cabin, in an attempt to force his surrender. We used an allied agency's armored vehicle and deployed cold gas into the cabin. There was no response from the suspect. None. No movement.
"And we felt that based upon his behavior that he was laying in wait for us, if we tried to enter the cabin there was going to be another gun battle, a very close quarters gun battle, so an entry of the cabin was not an option, for the safety of our officers," Herbert said.
"We then made the decision to deploy a pyrotechnic chemical agent which is much more effective in saturating a structure, and getting good saturation, a lot of gas, and hopefully to force Mr. Dorner to surrender or to come out.
"Prior to that, to deploying the pyrotechnic gas, we used our tactical tractor and opened up several windows and walls of the house, the cabin, so that we could try to see inside and see if we could see Mr. Dorner, and have some communication with him, or just to see what he was doing, so we could try to get some tactical advantage," Herbert said.
"We did the porting around the cabin, opened up windows and walls, did not see anything. As we were doing the porting, Mr. Dorner was throwing smoke inside the cabin in an attempt to obscure our view into the cabin. I believe he threw four, as I recall, during the sequence of events as we opened up the windows.
"The time came to insert the pyrotechnic chemical agent, and it was inserted at the southeast corner," Herbert said. "We put the chemical agent in.
"As I watched the chemical agent disperse into the house, there was a good amount of saturation in the cabin, to the point where I saw it was put in basically to the southeast corner and I saw it coming out through the north wall, which indicated to me in my experience there was a lot of gas in there and that should be able to force him out, and hopefully surrender.
"He did not surrender.
"At some point thereafter, assistant division commander Lt. (John) Ginter put out that a fire had started at the southeast corner," Herbert said. "And one thing, before we put that pyrotechnic chemical agent in, we made numerous P.A. announcements identifying him by name, asking him to surrender, telling him who were were, and asking him to come out. And then the pyrotechnic chemical agent was inserted.
"As the fire continued to spread, when probably about a quarter of the cabin was on fire, we heard a distinct single gunshot come from inside the house, which was a much different sounding shot from the shots we had been, he had been shooting at us, which indicated to me a different type of weapon was fired.
"The fire continued to spread throughout the cabin, eventually consumed the entire cabin to the point it was no longer a standing structure," Herbert said. "As the fire continued to burn numerous rounds of live ammunition started detonating inside the house repeatedly. Round after round after round.
"It created a danger for our deputies as well, because those can come outside and hurt somebody if you're not under cover. Eventually the cabin was consumed by fire to the point it was not a standing structure any more. The live ammunition quit detonating and the fire department was allowed to come in and cool what was remaining of the cabin.
"Then eventually the SWAT deputies were pulled back and the scene was turned over to our homicide investigators."
Update 5:32 p.m. At a news conference Friday, the sheriff of San Bernardino County praised his deputies' actions during the final hours of the Christopher Dorner manhunt, and he focused in part on their searches of a Big Bear condo complex where the accused murder fugitive apparently hid for several days under the nose of law enforcement.
"The bottom line is the deputy sheriffs of this department and the law enforcement officers from the surrounding area did an outstanding job," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. "They ran into the line of fire. They were being shot at and didn't turn around and retreat.
"They each upheld the oath that they swore when they earned their badge, and Christopher Dorner's reign of terror is over," McMahon said.
"Christopher Dorner's actions became personal to the residents of this county last Thursday when he parked his vehicle and lit it on fire on a forestry road near Bear Mountain Ski Resort.
"He then fled that vehicle and we assembled a search team and we looked throughout that entire area, around the resort, as well as Moonridge, to try to find Christopher Dorner," McMahon said.
"The condo owned by the Reynolds family and that complex was searched by our deputy sheriffs on Thursday evening. They checked that door and it was in fact locked. We later discovered through investigation that the Reynolds left the door unlocked so that a maintenance man could come in and check the residence and work on it.
"It appears at that point that Christopher Dorner had already entered the residence and locked the door behind him," McMahon said. "Our deputies knocked on that door and did not get an answer, and in hindsight it's probably a good thing he did not answer based on his actions before and after that event.
"When the Reynolds family returned to their condo they thought it was odd that the door was locked, but they went in, assuming that maybe the maintenance man had locked the door.
"When they went into that residence they were confronted by Christopher Dorner, who tied them up," McMahon said. "The Reynolds family were heroes and they were able to get out and call us as soon as they possibly could and report that their vehicle had been stolen and give us a description, and that it was stolen by Christopher Dorner, or what they believed was Christopher Dorner, matching the description.
"Our deputies began looking throughout the Big Bear area for that vehicle," McMahon said. "Information was received that there may be a vehicle similar in color and description southbound on Highway 38.
"Our deputies continued moving that direction and then deputies from the valley area started traveling up, or north, on Highway 38. We then received a call from the victim of the vehicle that was carjacked on Glass Road.
"He explained to us that his vehicle had been carjacked by Christopher Dorner," McMahon said. "Our deputies arrived in that area of Glass Road, ultimately found the vehicle, and the cabin. Our deputies stopped in front of that cabin, not knowing that Christopher Dorner was inside.
"They were formulating a plan on how to look for him, notice shoe prints in the snow leading towards that cabin. Before our deputies could finalize a plan, they were ambushed by Christopher Dorner. He began firing at them. Both our officers went down.
"Responding officers arrived and actually went through a hail of gunfire to rescue these two injured deputy sheriffs. At that point the SWAT team started to arrive at that location. As they arrived they put together a plan and I'm going to have Capt. Herbert, who's in charge of the SED detail to give you a little bit more information as to their practice and what they did when they arrived."
Posted 4:52 p.m. The wound that took quadruple-homicide suspect Christopher Dorner's life Tuesday at a burning cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains seems to be self-inflicted, a sheriff's captain said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Riverside County coroner's personnel conducted the autopsy, which took about six hours on Thursday, San Bernardino County sheriff's Capt. Kevin Lacy said.
"Yesterday beginning at about 9 o'clock the Riverside County coroner's office began the autopsy of the unidentified body that was recovered from the mountains here in our county the previous day," Lacy said.
"The autopsy took about six hours and during the course of the autopsy, two significant findings were made," Lacy said.
"One was that we were able to identify through a dental examination that the body that we recovered was in fact that of Christopher Dorner," Lacy said.
"The second important finding that was made was something that we have not been talking about yet, and that is the cause of death," Lacy said. "During the autopsy yesterday, the doctor who conducted the process concluded that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.
"We are not at this point ready to speak about the manner of death and tell you whether or not it was as a result of a self-inflicted wound or another round," Lacy said.
"We will tell you that while we are still compiling the information, and putting our reports together, the information that we have right now seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner's life was self-inflicted."
Authorities believe Dorner, who was fired by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009, is accountable for four killings in the space of ten days: a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiancé in Irvine on Feb. 3, Riverside police Officer Michael Crain on Feb. 7, and San Bernardino County sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay on Feb. 12.
Crain was a Redlands High School graduate, a student at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, and a Beaumont resident. MacKay worked in the Big Bear area and Yucaipa and he was a resident of Redlands. Both men leave behind wives and young children.
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- REDLANDS MOURNS: Slain Detective is Second Local Victim Tied to Dorner
- VIDEO: Thousands Mourn Loss of Slain Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain
- MANHUNT SHOOTOUT: Angelus Oaks Family Recalls Massive Response on 38
- DORNER MANHUNT: Mountain Search for Alleged Cop-Killer to Go Thru Night
- Murder Charges Filed Against Chris Dorner in Redlands High Grad's Death
- Funeral Service Information for Slain Riverside Police Officer Mike Crain
- $1 Million Reward Offered For Dorner's Capture
- LAPD Chief Beck's Full Statement on Reviewing Dorner's Termination Case
- MANHUNT: Search For Rogue Former Cop Continues
- DORNER MANHUNT: Armed Deputies Vigilant on Snowbound Mountain Roads
- Winter Storm Warning for Mountains Where Dorner Search is Under Way
- DORNER MANIFESTO: Rogue Officer Posted His Plan for 'Last Resort' Online