Fate of fugitive US ex-cop unclear after cabin shootout


By Brandon Lowrey, Reuters

ANGELUS OAKS, California — A massive California manhunt for a fugitive former cop looked to have ended on Wednesday after authorities found human remains in the charred ruins of a cabin where he was thought to have holed up. The cabin in the mountains above Los Angeles went up in flames after the gunman, suspected of a killing spree that has targeted police and their families, took refuge following a car chase with police, officials said. Police were awaiting forensic analysis to confirm the body was that of Christopher Dorner, the subject of the six-day manhunt that has ranged across southern California.

But San Bernardino County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman told reporters the man who barricaded himself inside the cabin and exchanged gunfire with officers was thought to be Dorner, 33.

“We believe he was still inside,” she said. A sheriff’s deputy was killed in the shootout in the snow-covered, wooded hills of the San Bernardino National Forest, northeast of Los Angeles, bringing to four the number of killings Dorner is suspected of committing. A second sheriff’s deputy was wounded in Tuesday’s gunfight. An angry manifesto posted last week on Dorner’s Facebook page claimed he had been wrongly terminated from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2008. He vowed to seek revenge by unleashing “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” on officers and their families. Tuesday’s climax to the saga unfolded after police learned that a gunman they believed was Dorner had broken into a home near the ski resort community of Big Bear Lake, tied up a couple and stolen their vehicle. State game wardens later spotted the vehicle and gave chase. The suspect crashed the car then commandeered a pickup truck at gunpoint from another motorist, said Lieutenant Patrick Foy of the state Fish and Wildlife Department.