Medical examiners have positively identified the body of the renegade former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, the man authorities say killed four people and wounded three others in a vendetta against his old comrades.
That announcement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department came two days after a shootout, standoff and fire at a cabin in the mountains east of Los Angeles. Dorner’s remains were identified through dental records during an autopsy, the department said.
The charred remains of a man believed to be Dorner were found in the burned cabin late Tuesday. The cause of death was not released with the identification.
Dorner was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009 for falsely accusing his training officer of kicking a subdued suspect. After unsuccessfully challenging his dismissal in court, police say, he launched a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the LAPD, targeting numerous officers involved in his case and their families.
Dorner was cornered and died Tuesday afternoon in the San Bernardino Mountains, about 100 miles east of the city he had once sworn to protect and serve.
The 33-year-old former Navy officer holed up in the cabin after a shootout with law enforcement that left a sheriff’s deputy dead and another wounded, San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon said.
The cabin caught fire when police shot tear gas canisters into it, McMahon told reporters Wednesday.
Although the canisters included pyrotechnic tear gas, which generates heat, “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” he said.
The city of Los Angeles and other communities in southern California had issued a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s capture and conviction. What to do with that reward was under discussion Thursday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
“More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in this reward, so all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual or individuals qualify for it,’” they said in a joint statement. “Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect the procedures of each entity.”
Dorner’s mother, Nancy Dorner, expressed condolences for the victims in a statement given to Robin Sax at Fox 11 Los Angeles.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we express our deepest sympathies and condolences to anyone that suffered losses or injuries resulting from Christopher’s actions. We do not condone Christopher’s actions.
The family has no further comments and ask that our privacy be respected during this difficult time.”
Dorner was first named a suspect in two shooting deaths on February 3: Monica Quan, the daughter of his police union representative, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Police say he then killed Michael Crain, a police officer in suburban Riverside, and wounded Crain’s partner in an ambush on their patrol car February 7. The partner, Officer Andrew Tachias, was in stable condition at a local hospital, Riverside police said.
They say Dorner also wounded an LAPD officer who chased him into nearby Corona.
In addition, LAPD officers guarding one of Dorner’s targets in suburban Torrance opened fire on a pickup truck that resembled Dorner’s, wounding two women inside. Beck called the shooting “tragic” and “horrific.”
In a manifesto announcing his planned rampage, Dorner said nothing had changed in the LAPD since its scandals of the 1990s, the Rodney King beating and the Rampart police corruption case. Those allegations have struck a chord with some who say that, despite the four killings, Dorner was seeking justice.
Shadowed by that history, Beck announced Saturday that the department would re-examine its proceedings against Dorner. The review is “not to appease a murderer,” but “to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all things we do,” he said.
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