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Investigators have determined that the charred remains in the burned cabin in Big Bear, CA are those of Christopher Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer suspected in the rampage that lead to the death of four people. The evidence, as well as the descriptions from eye witnesses and the discovery of his personal items, including a driver’s license, led authorities to conclude that it was Dorner who exchanged heavy gunfire with San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies. The deadly exchange took place at a cabin on Tuesday and one officer was killed. Dorner never left as the cabin went up in flames. On Thursday, Jodi Miller, the coroner’s spokeswoman, announced that a dental examination definitively revealed that the remains were Dorner’s, but no other information has been released.
Questions linger as to how exactly Dorner may have died. Was it the torrent of gunfire that came from the deputies outside? Could it have been suicide by the single shot heard from inside the cabin as the flames engulfed the structure? Or was it the flames themselves, which ultimately led to his death. The cause of the fire has been in question. Deputies apparently shot pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the cabin—burners, as they are known in the police world—and the fire started shortly thereafter. “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” McMahon stated. More information about the cause of the fire is forthcoming.
Federal authorities were brought to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, after Dorner’s burned out truck was found abandoned last week, and local officers failed to find him. It generally takes several weeks for a toxicology report to return. An autopsy on Christopher Dorner has yet to be completed.