Ambiguity surrounds the finding amidst the rubble of the charred remains of the cabin in which the shootout occured. retrieval and positive identification of the body of Christopher Dorner.
Nevertheless if the official statement is to be believe Christopher Dorner is history now.
After a shootout and a forest standoff on Tuesday afternoon, Christopher J. Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer sought in the region’s largest manhunt, was apparently killed in a cabin as it burned down around him, but officials said they needed time to sort through the rubble.
At 11 p.m., the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office released a statement, saying that “charred human remains” had been located inside the burned-out cabin. Though the remains were not identified as those of Mr. Dorner — “identification will be attempted through forensic means,” the statement said — there is little doubt they are his.
“We believe he was still inside the cabin” when it went up in flames, Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said earlier during a news conference in Angelus Oaks, six miles from the scene. Mr. Dorner, a self-described survivalist believed to be heavily armed, had holed up in the rental cabin hours earlier and engaged deputies in a shootout, killing one deputy and wounding a second.
The dramatic chain of events, which included hostage taking and a chase in vehicles and on foot, played out in the sun-dappled, snowy San Bernardino Mountains.
It was unclear how the fire at the cabin began, but the authorities said that no one escaped the blaze and that Mr. Dorner was believed to be alone inside.
Officers, shouting orders through loudspeakers for Mr. Dorner to surrender, heard what they believed to be a single gunshot from within.
News organization widely reported that Mr. Dorner’s body was found in the building, but a spokesman from the Los Angeles Police Department said on Tuesday evening that they did not have the body.
Even after officers retrieve the body, it could take days or weeks to identify it, officials said. Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County sheriff, said in an evening news conference, “We believe that he was still inside the cabin,” but that it was not safe to enter because of the heat.
Both the suspect and the police were believed to have used smoke grenades during the shootout. The two deputies who were shot were airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center; the second deputy’s condition was not disclosed on Tuesday evening, but he was expected to recover.