Dorner transcripts show deputies held fire at end
Saturday, April 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sheriff’s transcripts released Friday indicate deputies didn’t fire a single shot during the final two hours of a standoff with Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer who authorities said killed four people in a nearly weeklong rampage.
The standoff came after a furious gunbattle that erupted as Dorner arrived at a cabin on Feb. 12 in the San Bernardino Mountains.
One deputy was killed and another seriously wounded in the exchange.
Flames eventually broke out, and six minutes later a single gunshot was heard from inside the cabin. Authorities believe it was Dorner taking his own life.
The transcripts provide the most detailed glimpse yet of the final hours of the manhunt that covered several states and grabbed the attention of the nation.
The radio dispatch transcripts from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department cover the roughly nine hours following a 911 call from Jim and Karen Reynolds, who were tied up by Dorner in their Big Bear condo. The audio was not provided.
The transcripts show law enforcement officers poured in and deputies were told not to fire unless they saw Dorner. They tried using tear gas to force him out of the dwelling and when that failed, seven canisters of incendiary tear gas were used.
The 30-page transcript describes a chaotic scene where information was being relayed from multiple sources — a 911 call, carjacking victim, concerned neighbors, and the owner of the mountain cabin — to law enforcement officers on the ground.
Deputies were provided details by the cabin’s owner about the floor plan and told there was no other way out of the basement, where authorities later found Dorner’s body.
A school camp director called in to say 550 students were on lockdown and had provisions for the night if necessary.
Law enforcement officers described blood spatter on the cabin walls and mattresses up against them as a barricade.
Multiple agencies offered resources, including high-powered weapons, ammunition and armored vehicles. Fifteen members of the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team dressed in black landed in the nearby hills only to be turned back to the airport, the transcript says.
Near the end of the standoff, as SWAT officers in an armored BearCat methodically tore down the walls of the cabin, they saw “green smoke” coming from the inside. Authorities believe Dorner was throwing smoke grenades to obscure any view of him.
Eleven minutes later “seven burners deployed, fired (sic) started” — a reference to incendiary tear gas being lobbed into the cabin to end the standoff. Within minutes walls of the cabin were fully engulfed in flames.
At 4:22 p.m., dispatchers relayed the message, “one single gunshot heard from inside of residence.”
Authorities say Dorner killed four people during a nearly weeklong rampage to avenge what he called an unfair firing from the Los Angeles Police Department.
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