Hundreds of police officers searched the mountains around Big Bear for days in the hopes of finding former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. Dorner has been accused of killing two civilians and now two law enforcement officials following a shootout on Tuesday.
In a report from the Associated Press, police believe Dorner might have been hiding in a cabin just up the road from their search headquarters for the past handful of days. On Tuesday, Dorner was spotted during a carjacking that led to a chase, two deputies being shot, and a cabin being burned. One of the two deputies lost his life.
Authorities said that no one left the cabin after it caught fire and once it had cooled, remains were found in the basement along with a California drivers license with Dorner on it. Authorities did not release information as to how the cabin caught fire.
The LAPD returned to normal patrol operations on Wednesday, according to Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andrew Neiman. Neiman did note that close to 12 of the 50 protective details were still in position until the remains are identified.
“This really is not a celebration,” he said. “It was horrifying to listen to that firefight and to hear those words. ‘Officer down’ is the most gut-wrenching experience that you can have as a police officer.”
Police received a tip on Tuesday that Dorner tied up two people in a cabin in Big Bear Lake, stole their vehicle, and fled the scene. The search also included the California Fish and Wildlife Department. Dorner was taken by surprise when two housekeepers showed up at a cabin to clean it on Tuesday. He tied the women up, but one was able to get free and call 911, according to Lt. Patrick Foy.
The Nissan Dorner stole was seen by wardens from the Fish and Wildlife agency, who gave chase. Dorner crashed the first vehicle so he stole a white pickup truck at gunpoint, forcing the driver and his dog to exit. After Dorner shot two deputies, one fatally, he barricaded himself in a cabin.
A SWAT team surrounded the cabin and broke its windows with an armored vehicle. Then, all four walls of the cabin were torn down by the armored vehicle. Prior to the cabin catching fire, a single gunshot was heard from inside. Most of the law enforcement sources spoke anonymously because of the ongoing investigation. The human remains found in the cabin are still in the process of being identified.