SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – After the suspect believed to be Christopher Dorner dashed into an abandoned cabin in the Bear Mountain area Tuesday afternoon, dozens of SWAT team members and other officers surrounded it and the outlying area looking for him.
Dorner’s skill and training posed a unique problem. Former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness says it appears Dorner was calculated and well trained, well armed and willing to die — a dangerous combination that made the ex-cop an unusual and formidable foe.
“You’ve got crazy people who’ve done bad things and are trying to get away from the police. Well now, police are the prey,” he said. “He knew that his life was effectively over once he started in this crusade and I think he had illusions of far greater grandeur.”
The big break after six days of searching came Tuesday afternoon with a reported carjacking and Dorner barricading himself in the cabin near Big Bear. A dangerous manhunt that once spanned miles in frigid, treacherous terrain was over, allowing SWAT teams to close in.
“We were the prey for some time, but in the end the way it ended up, he was the one who was hunted, he was the one who was trapped, he was the one who became reactionary and ultimately it looks like he met his final demise,” said Sgt. Randy Winn, SWAT leader for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Winn says it was clear the man allegedly responsible for four murders had no intention of surrendering.
“So I think that force had to be used,” he said. “It was almost a forgone conclusion.”
Officials believe his body was still inside the cabin when it burned and they reported hearing one shot before flames engulfed the home. They had deployed tear gas into the cabin before the fire ignited.
Winn says firing tear gas into the cabin carried a fire hazard but still, he says it was the right decision considering with whom law enforcement believed they were dealing.
“Of course in a situation where deadly force is already appropriate, it doesn’t much matter if the house burns down and he were to perish,” Winn said.