Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates

We now know who will get the $1 million reward offered in the Christoper Dorner case.

dorner-case-truck

(Photo credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES-

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck so far hasn’t come through on a promise to provide a new truck for two women injured by officers in pursuit of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner, an attorney for the women said Monday.

Beck last month pledged to provide the truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers in Torrance when LAPD officers riddled their blue Toyota Tacoma with bullets. Dorner was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza sustained injuries from broken glass.

Beck called the truck shooting “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension” hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers. He promised to provide a truck from a donor regardless of potential litigation by the women.

But Glen Jonas, an attorney for the woman, said the women are still without a truck.

“After they shot my clients … this broken promise of a truck donation and the nonsense that followed is a slap in the face,” Jonas said.

Read the rest of Richard Winton’s report on LATimes.com.

Dorner Newest Photos

Christopher Dorner, pictured above, is the suspect in the double-homicide that occurred in Irvine on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Through follow-up investigation this recent image of Dorner was obtained from surveillance video of an Orange County hotel. The image is the most recent available depicting Dorner’s appearance. It was taken on January 28, 2013. The purpose of distributing this image is to share how Dorner appeared in the recent past.

LOS ANGELES (CNN)-

It’s the million-dollar reward that’s raising a million-dollar question: Who, if anyone, is entitled to the money offered in the hunt for Christopher Dorner?

The catch is that Dorner, the rogue former Los Angeles police officer who sparked a massive manhunt, was never captured. He died after a shootout and fire at a California mountain cabin this week after, authorities say, he killed four people and wounded three others.

The city of Los Angeles put up the $1 million reward Sunday, together with other jurisdictions, groups, and private donors. It had been a few days since Dorner was last seen, and they wanted to generate tips.

“Collectively this group, led by my office, is posting a reward of $1 million for information that will lead to Mr. Dorner’s capture,” said Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

Now that the hunt for Dorner is over, the Los Angeles Police Department says it’s deciding what to do with the reward money.

“More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved in this reward, so all of them will be coming together to collectively determine whether any individual(s) qualify for it,” the LAPD said in a statement Friday. “Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect the procedures of each entity.”

The police department said they have had a lot of inquiries about the reward. It reminded the public that no money can be distributed until the investigation is complete.

One person who feels he deserves the reward is camp ranger Rick Heltebrake, one of Dorner’s last victims. Heltebrake was driving Tuesday near Big Bear Lake, California, when Dorner approached him, put a gun to his head and stole his truck.

Dorner was on the run from California Fish and Wildlife wardens who had spotted him on the area’s icy roads. Dorner and the wardens exchanged gunfire before Dorner crashed his car, carjacked Heltebrake’s truck and drove it to the nearby cabin.

After Dorner drove off, Heltebrake said he ducked off the road and called his friend, a sheriff’s deputy, to alert him.

Speaking Thursday to CNN about the reward, Heltebrake said, “I do think I deserve it. I believe it was my phone call to that sheriff’s deputy that directed them to the location where Dorner was, and I believe it was my phone call that put an end to the largest manhunt in Los Angeles history.”

Heltebrake said he wants to use the reward money to set up college funds for the children of the two law enforcement officers killed by Dorner. He also mentioned possible improvements to the scout camp where he works, which he said is rundown.

“Did anybody ever believe that he was going to be captured and convicted? I don’t think so,” Heltebrake told CNN’s Randi Kaye. “I think they put that (clause) in there possibly to have an out for later. I believe that that money was put up by the private sector and basically corporate donors, not from taxpayer money or anything like that, and I believe those people wanted that money to go somewhere, and I’d like to do some good with it.”

Heltebrake said he could split the money with Karen and Jim Reynolds, the couple who encountered Dorner in their Big Bear-area condo Tuesday morning, before the carjacking. Though Dorner tied up the couple, they managed to free themselves and call 911.

“If they want half of it, I believe they’re deserving of half of it,” Heltebrake said.

Speaking Wednesday after their ordeal, the Reynolds said they were simply happy to be alive and hadn’t thought much about the reward money.

By Melissa Gray

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Christopher Dorner cropped

Christopher Dorner (LAPD)

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY-

Autopsy results on Christopher Dorner, the renegade former Los Angeles cop who authorities said killed four people and wounded three others, show he died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Cpt. Kevin Lacy, the San Bernardino County, California, coroner, reported the results and said that authorities have not yet ruled on Dorner’s manner of death.

However, information collected so far seems to suggest he took his own life.

“While we’re still compiling the information and putting our reports together, the information that we have right now seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner’s life was self-inflicted,” Lacy said.

The announcement came three days after a shootout, standoff and fire at a cabin in the mountains east of Los Angeles. Dorner’s remains were identified during the autopsy through dental records.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)
™ & ©2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Christopher Dorner cropped

Christopher Dorner (LAPD)

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY-

San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials have positively identified the charred remains found in a mountain cabin Tuesday as being the body of Christopher Dorner.

Officials said they made the identification using dental records during the autopsy.

The announcement brings a formal end to the epic manhunt for Dorner, who was accused of killing four people, including two law enforcement officers. He was killed at the end of a hours-long standoff in a cabin near Big Bear on Tuesday afternoon.

SWAT officers in the cabin standoff decided to use highly flammable “hot gas” canisters as a last resort after other efforts to persuade Dorner to surrender failed, according to law enforcement sources.

Officers made the decision to use the canisters, which caused the cabin to catch fire, as the sun was setting Tuesday and authorities worried about dealing with Dorner at night in the remote Big Bear area, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Dorner had continued to fire on officers, and they feared more deputies would be hurt or killed, they added.

Authorities had chased Dorner into the cabin on Seven Oaks Road on Tuesday afternoon amid a massive gun battle in which one San Bernardino County deputy was killed and another seriously wounded.

Law enforcement officers lobbed conventional tear gas into the cabin, but when Dorner failed to emerge they used CS gas canisters, a more intense weapon known to start fires, and sent in a demolition vehicle. Dorner is believe to have died inside, though it is unclear if the fire caused his death.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said deputies did not purposely burn down the cabin. He said they deployed the CS canisters after they were left with no other options.

“I can tell you it was not on purpose,” he said. “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out.”

McMahon praised the deputies involved in the standoff. “It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go in the area …. Our deputies are true heroes.”

Dorner, an ex-LAPD officer embittered by his firing in 2009, killed the daughter of a retired LAPD captain, her fiance and two law officers during a nine-day rampage that began in Irvine, police say.

In Riverside on Wednesday, police motorcycles led a lengthy procession toward a service for Michael Crain, the slain Riverside officer.

Mary Ann Taylor, who lives down the street from the Grove Community Church where the service was held, stood with her twin granddaughters and watched as police cars filed past with flashing lights.

“Put your hands over your hearts. Show some respect for them,” Taylor told the girls, adding: “I think all of us feel the sadness of the last few days.”

Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte said he was relieved that the manhunt was over. The area was “freed of the sense of being a community that is not safe because there is a cop-killer hiding in our little mountain town.”

By Andrew Blankstein, Phil Willon and Rong-Gong Lin II

Los Angeles Times

A couple held hostage by Dorner are speaking out about their encounter with Southern California’s most wanted man.

riverside-memorial

A memorial for slain Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain, allegedly killed by fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

RIVERSIDE-

Authorities said Wednesday they are reasonably sure that the body found inside the burned cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, is that of Christopher Dorner, the rogue ex-cop who had been pursuing a vendetta against his fellow officers.

“We believe that this investigation is over, at this point, and we’ll just need to move on from here,” San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.

Although the description and behavior of the man who was killed are consistent with Dorner, officials “cannot absolutely, positively confirm it was him,” McMahon said.

“We’re not currently involved in a manhunt,” he said. “Our coroner’s division is trying to confirm the identity through forensics.”

Authorities say Dorner launched a guerrilla war against the Los Angeles Police Department over what he considered his unfair dismissal in 2009.

McMahon identified a sheriff’s detective who was fatally shot Tuesday by the man presumed to have been Dorner as Jeremiah MacKay. MacKay, 35, was a 15-year veteran who was married with two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.

Another officer has undergone “a couple of different surgeries” after being wounded in the shootout. “He’s in good spirits and should make a full recovery after a number of additional surgeries,” McMahon said.

The two men were ambushed Tuesday when they responded to a report of a vehicle stolen by a suspect matching Dorner’s description, McMahon said.

“It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go into that area and tried to neutralize and stop the threat,” McMahon said. “The rounds kept coming, but our deputies didn’t give up.”

The suspect then fled into a nearby vacant cabin, which caught fire after police shot tear gas canisters into it, McMahon said.

Although the canisters included pyrotechnic tear gas, which generates heat, “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” McMahon said.

It wasn’t clear when a formal identification could be made of the charred remains found in the cabin about 100 miles east of Los Angeles after Tuesday’s shootout with police. Until then, “a lot of apprehension” remains in the ranks of the LAPD, Lt. Andy Neiman said.

‘A very trying time’ for the LAPD

“It’s been a very trying time over the last couple of weeks for all of those involved and all those families, friends and everybody that has been touched by this incident,” he said.

On Wednesday, police from around the Los Angeles area and beyond gathered to bury Michael Crain, who was among the four people fatally shot, allegedly by the 33-year-old former Navy officer.

Dorner also killed the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance and shot three other officers, including Crain’s partner, police say.

A squad of bagpipers led Crain’s flag-draped casket through a cordon of blue uniforms into a church in Riverside, the Los Angeles suburb where the 34-year-old police officer had served 11 years on the force.

The mourners inside the church included California Gov. Jerry Brown, his Highway Patrol chief and law enforcement from a number of other agencies around the region.

“I knew that communities would reach out, and I knew a lot of people loved Mike,” Regina Crain, the slain officer’s widow, told them. “And I knew that I would have support no matter what. But I really did not realize the sheer scale of this, and how many people are touched by his life. It gives me really great comfort to see that, and I want to thank you all.”

Investigators began scouring the mountains February 7, when investigators found Dorner’s scorched pickup. Police, sheriff’s deputies and federal agents swarmed into the area, working through a weekend blizzard, but the trail was cold for days.

On Sunday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it had scaled back the search. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s arrest and conviction, spurring hundreds of tips.

The trail picked up again on Tuesday, when Karen and Jim Reynolds came upon a man who looked like Dorner in their house across the street from the sheriff’s command center in the Big Bear area. He tied them up and took off in their purple Nissan, according to police.

The unit had been unoccupied since January 29 and they had last done some work on it on February 6, Karen Reynolds told reporters.

They returned on Tuesday to continue working on the apartment, she said. “We had come into the living room and he opened the door and came out at us,” she said.

“He yelled, ‘Stay calm,’” Jim Reynolds said. “When he jumped out and hollered, ‘Stay calm!’ Karen screamed and turned and started running and he ran after her and he caught her on the staircase and brought her back.”

Dorner tried to calm them, the couple said. “He had his gun drawn the whole time,” Karen Reynolds said.

He ordered them to lie down and bound their hands behind their backs with plastic ties, telling them he would not kill them, but needed transportation out of Big Bear, they said.

He then gagged them, put pillowcases on their heads and left, they said.

Throughout, he was calm, they said.

“He said I don’t have a problem with you, I just want to clear my name,” Jim Reynolds said.

The man then took their 2011 Nissan Rogue, they said.

It was not clear how long he had been there, a bag of carrots and milk were in the refrigerator, they said.

At around 12:20 p.m., some 15 minutes after he left, they freed themselves and called 911 to report the incident, they said.

“We’re very happy to be alive,” Karen Reynolds said. “I didn’t wish him dead though … I prayed for him a lot and I’m praying for his family now.”

A ‘guy with a big gun’

At 12:45 p.m., Fish and Wildlife wardens spotted the SUV and began pursuing it.

The wardens, driving in separate vehicles, chased Dorner, and a gunbattle ensued. One of the warden’s cars was hit, and Dorner crashed his car and ran, according to authorities. He then carjacked a pickup truck.

Rick Heltebrake, a camp ranger, said he was driving when he saw the crashed purple vehicle — and then something terrifying.

“Here comes this guy with a big gun, and I knew who it was right away,” Heltebrake told CNN affiliate KTLA. “He just came out of the snow at me with his gun at my head. He said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you. Just get out of the car and start walking.’ “

Heltebrake said the man let him take his dog and walk away with his hands up.

“Not more than 10 seconds later, I heard a loud round of gunfire,” Heltebrake said. “Ten to 20 rounds, maybe. I found out later what that was all about.”

Dorner fled to a nearby cabin and got into another shootout, this time with the San Bernardino County deputies, killing one and wounded another.

Some of the firefight between police and the suspect was captured live on the telephone of a reporter for CNN affiliates KCBS and KCAL. Police in Los Angeles listened live over police scanners broadcast on the Internet, LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said.

“It was horrifying to listen to that firefight,” he said. “To hear those words, ‘officer down,’ is the most gut-wrenching experience you can have as a police officer, because you know what that means.”

Audio from a Los Angeles television station captured the sound of someone early in the standoff shouting, “Burn it down … burn that goddamn house down. Burn it down.” It’s not clear who used those words.

But the order to use smoke canisters — “burners” — didn’t come for another two hours, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s radio traffic.

“Seven burners deployed, and we have a fire,” one officer reported at 4:16 p.m. (7:16 p.m. ET).

Five minutes later, a single gunshot was reported from inside the house. A senior officer ordered units around the cabin, “Stand by. Maintain your discipline.” About a minute after that, officers reported ammunition exploding inside.

Sheriff’s investigators confirmed overnight that they had found charred human remains among the ashes.

Dorner cheered in some quarters

Dorner had vowed to kill police officers to avenge what he called his unfair termination. He was fired after accusing his training officer of kicking a suspect during a July 2007 arrest, a complaint the LAPD concluded was unfounded.

The department accused him of lying to superiors and to internal affairs investigators and forced him out in January 2009. Dorner challenged his dismissal in court but was unsuccessful.

Dorner was first named a suspect in two shooting deaths on February 3: Monica Quan, the daughter of his police union representative, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.

Police say he killed Crain and wounded Crain’s partner in an ambush on their patrol car February 7. They say he also wounded an LAPD officer who chased him in the suburban city of Corona, California.

In a manifesto announcing his planned rampage, Dorner said nothing had changed in the LAPD since its scandals of the 1990s, the Rodney King beating and the Rampart police corruption case. Those allegations have struck a chord with some who say that, despite the four killings, Dorner was seeking justice.

Shadowed by that history, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced Saturday that the department would re-examine its proceedings against Dorner. The review is “not to appease a murderer,” but “to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all things we do,” he said.

By Miguel Marquez and Matt Smith

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)
™ & ©2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

riverside-memorial

A memorial for slain Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain.

RIVERSIDE-

 Authorities said Wednesday they are reasonably sure that the body found inside the burned cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, is that of Christopher Dorner, the rogue ex-cop who allegedly had been pursuing a vendetta against his fellow officers.

“We believe that this investigation is over, at this point, and we’ll just need to move on from here,” San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.

Although the description and behavior of the man who was killed are consistent with Dorner, officials “cannot absolutely, positively confirm it was him,” McMahon said.

“We’re not currently involved in a manhunt,” he said. “Our coroner’s division is trying to confirm the identity through forensics.”

Authorities say Dorner launched a guerrilla war against the Los Angeles Police Department over what he considered his unfair dismissal in 2009.

McMahon identified a sheriff’s detective who was fatally shot Tuesday by the man presumed to have been Dorner as Jeremiah MacKay. MacKay, 35, was a 15-year veteran and married with two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.

Another officer has undergone “a couple of different surgeries” after being wounded in the shootout. “He’s in good spirits and should make a full recovery after a number of additional surgeries,” McMahon said.

The two men were ambushed when they responded to a report of a vehicle stolen by a suspect matching Dorner’s description, McMahon said.

“It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go into that area and tried to neutralize and stop the threat,” McMahon said. “The rounds kept coming, but our deputies didn’t give up.”

The suspect then fled into a nearby vacant cabin, which caught fire after police shot tear gas canisters into it, McMahon said.

Although the canisters included pyrotechnic tear gas, which generates heat, “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” McMahon said.

It was not clear how long the man believed to have been Dorner had been in the cabin, said San Bernardino County Deputy Chief Steve Kovensky.

Last Thursday, after Dorner’s burned-out vehicle was found nearby, “each cabin” in the area had been inspected for signs of break-in or open doors, he said.

“I don’t believe that there (was) anybody in there on Thursday, at the start of the investigation,” he said. “We did not find any forced entry.”

But neighbors have told CNN that no one knocked on their doors.

It wasn’t clear when a formal identification could be made of the charred remains found in the cabin about 100 miles east of Los Angeles after Tuesday’s shootout with police. Until then, “a lot of apprehension” remains in the ranks of the LAPD, Lt. Andy Neiman said.

“It’s been a very trying time over the last couple of weeks for all of those involved and all those families, friends and everybody that has been touched by this incident,” he said.

On Wednesday, police from around the Los Angeles area and beyond gathered to bury Michael Crain, who was fatally shot by the 33-year-old former Navy officer.

Dorner is also accused of killing the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance and of shooting three other cops, including Crain’s partner.

A squad of bagpipers led Crain’s flag-draped casket through a cordon of blue uniforms into a church in Riverside, the Los Angeles suburb where he served 11 years on the force.

The mourners who packed the church included California Gov. Jerry Brown, his Highway Patrol chief and law enforcement from a number of other agencies around the region.

“I knew that communities would reach out, and I knew a lot of people loved Mike,” Regina Crain, the slain officer’s widow, told them. “And I knew that I would have support no matter what. But I really did not realize the sheer scale of this, and how many people are touched by his life. It gives me really great comfort to see that, and I want to thank you all.”

‘A very trying time’ for the LAPD

Investigators began scouring the mountains last Thursday, when investigators found Dorner’s scorched pickup. Police, sheriff’s deputies and federal agents swarmed into the area, working through a weekend blizzard, but the trail was cold for days.

On Sunday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it had scaled back the search. Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s arrest and conviction, spurring hundreds of tips.

Then, early Tuesday afternoon, California Fish and Wildlife wardens said they had spotted a man who appeared to be Dorner driving a purple Nissan down icy roads near Big Bear Lake.

‘Here comes this guy with a big gun’

The wardens, driving in two different vehicles, chased Dorner, and a gun battle ensued. One of the warden’s cars was hit, and Dorner crashed his car and ran, according to authorities. He then carjacked a pickup truck.

Rick Heltebrake, a camp ranger, said he was driving when he saw the crashed purple vehicle — and then something terrifying.

“Here comes this guy with a big gun, and I knew who it was right away,” Heltebrake told CNN affiliate KTLA. “He just came out of the snow at me with his gun at my head. He said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you. Just get out of the car and start walking.’ “

Heltebrake said the man let him take his dog and walk away with his hands up.

“Not more than 10 seconds later, I heard a loud round of gunfire,” Heltebrake said. “Ten to 20 rounds, maybe. I found out later what that was all about.”

Dorner fled to a nearby cabin and got into another shootout, this time with the San Bernardino County deputies, killing one and wounded another.

Some of the firefight between police and the suspect was captured live on the telephone of a reporter for CNN affiliates KCBS and KCAL. Police in Los Angeles listened live over police scanners broadcast on the Internet, Neiman said.

“It was horrifying to listen to that firefight,” he said. “To hear those words, ‘officer down,’ is the most gut-wrenching experience you can have as a police officer, because you know what that means.”

‘Maintain your discipline’

A law enforcement source told CNN the cabin caught fire when police tossed smoke devices inside. The cabin was fully ablaze within minutes and burned for hours as authorities waited at a distance.

Devices such as “flash-bang” grenades and tear gas canisters designed to disorient and disable suspects can cause fires, CNN contributor Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director, said Wednesday. But it wasn’t clear exactly how the fire started.

Audio from a Los Angeles television station captured the sound of someone early in the standoff shouting, “Burn it down … burn that goddamn house down. Burn it down.” It’s not clear who used those words.

But the order to use smoke canisters — “burners” — didn’t come for another two hours, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s radio traffic.

“Seven burners deployed, and we have a fire,” one officer reported at 4:16 p.m. (7:16 p.m. ET).

Five minutes later, a single gunshot was reported from inside the house. A senior officer ordered units around the cabin, “Stand by. Maintain your discipline.” About a minute after that, officers reported ammunition exploding inside.

After initially saying that no body had been found, sheriff’s investigators confirmed overnight that they had found charred human remains among the ashes.

Dorner cheered in some quarters

Dorner had vowed to kill police officers to avenge what he called his unfair termination. He was fired after accusing his training officer of kicking a suspect during a July 2007 arrest — a complaint the LAPD concluded was unfounded.

The department accused him of lying to superiors and to internal affairs investigators and forced him out in January 2009. Dorner challenged his dismissal in court but was unsuccessful.

Dorner was first named a suspect in two shooting deaths on February 3: Monica Quan, the daughter of his police union representative, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.

Police say he killed Crain and wounded Crain’s partner in an ambush on their patrol car Thursday. They say he also wounded an LAPD officer who chased him in the suburban city of Corona, California.

In a manifesto explaining his rampage, Dorner said nothing had changed in the LAPD since its scandals of the 1990s, the Rodney King beating and the Rampart police corruption case. Those allegations have struck a chord with some who say that, despite the four killings, Dorner was seeking justice.

Shadowed by that history, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced Saturday that the department would re-examine its proceedings against Dorner. The review is “not to appease a murderer,” but “to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all things we do,” he said.

By Miguel Marquez and Matt Smith

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)
™ & ©2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

SACRAMENTO-

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s SWAT leader said tear gas is among the more effective tools they have when dealing with a dangerous suspect.

“Unfortunately, some of the most effective chemical agents we use in law enforcement are incendiary, pose a potential fire hazard, or risk,” Sgt. Randy Winn told FOX40.

A deadly standoff with law enforcement, apparently ended Tuesday evening, from a fire that started shortly after officers shot tear gas into a cabin with Christopher Dorner inside.

Investigators believe Dorner shot and killed his fourth victim, then hid out in a cabin where officers used tear gas. A fire erupted soon after.

“This is a bad guy who didn’t have the ability to confront his own shortcomings, and therefore took it out on innocent people,” Ret. Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said.

“If a fire was started and the suspect were to perish, it could be considered objectively reasonable in light of the circumstances,” Winn said.

We’ve seen that kind of deadly inferno last year in Modesto, where they later found the charred body of a gunman who killed a deputy and locksmith serving an eviction at his apartment.

SWAT often use tear gas, once they know the suspect is there, to prevent the suspect from escaping or to keep him cornered.

“In a situation like this, where the situation poses extreme risk to the officers and the community, the incendiary chemical agents are certainly more effective, that may be the case where deadly force certainly is appropriate,” Winn added.

Advertisement