A gun battle between Christopher Dorner and police has ended after fire ripped through the remote cabin where the murder suspect was thought to have been hiding.
The Los Angeles Police Department said charred human remains have been found in the burned-out cabin. It is believed to be what is left of the fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner’s body, but identification could take days or weeks.
Former LAPD officer and suspected killer Christopher Dorner had barricaded himself in a cabin in a wooded area around 80 miles from Los Angeles, following a shootout that wounded at least two officers and a car chase on Tuesday.
One of the deputies wounded by Dorner was airlifted to a hospital and later died, while the other is currently undergoing surgery and is expected to survive.
Law enforcement agents surrounded the cabin and threw smoke bombs in a bid to lure Dorner out, who reportedly retaliated with similar tactics in an attempt to elude authorities.
Several hours into the standoff, the cabin caught fire and slowly burned out, with no signs of anyone trying to flee the building. It is still unknown what caused the fire, but there were reports of explosions inside the building as authorities exchanged shots with the suspect.
During the operation, authorities asked the media to discontinue their live aerial broadcast and withhold from tweeting live updates from the scene. Law enforcement shifted off of public radio frequencies right after announcing a plan to “go ahead with the burner,” users on Twitter said.
During a press conference on the hunt for Christopher Dorner, LAPD spokesperson Andrew Smith called on the suspect to end the bloodshed. “Enough is enough, it’s time to turn yourself in,” he said, suggesting that the suspect was watching the news inside his hideout. “It’s time for this incident to be over.”
TV footage showed flames rising from the property in California’s Big Bear Lake area, which also had thick black smoke billowing from it.
The Sheriff’s spokeswoman said charred human remains had been found in the rubble of the burned cabin.
Jodi Miller said the remains were found late on Tuesday, and forensic tests to be carried out to determine if the remains are Dorner’s.
A law enforcement official said a gunshot was heard before the fire broke out, and the suspect did not come out of the cabin as it was engulfed in flames.
Police had urged the fugitive to turn himself in as authorities surrounded the cabin where he was reportedly holed up with an arsenal of weapons.
Dorner had earlier exchanged gunfire with federal authorities.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told a news conference that a sheriff’s deputy had died of wounds he suffered during the shootout. Another deputy was also injured in the exchange.
Authorities have focused their hunt for Dorner in the mountainous area since they said he launched a campaign to exact revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for sacking him.
It is believed the 33-year-old – who is suspected of three other killings – may have held a couple hostage in a holiday home before police tracked him down.
Commander Smith said: “It’s time for you to turn yourself in. It’s time to end the bloodshed.”
Another police officer told the Associated Press that Dorner robbed the cabin and tied up the holidaymakers, but one was able to get away and make a phone call.
Dorner reportedly fled in a stolen white Dodge pickup truck and a California Fish and Game ranger fired on the vehicle.
He then abandoned the truck and ran into the forest.
The noise of the gun battle was broadcast by KCAL-TV, whose reporter suddenly found himself near the shooting. Someone could be heard yelling at the reporter to get out of the area.
The manhunt has centred on the San Bernardino mountains since Dorner’s truck was found in the area last Thursday.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said a stolen vehicle report from a residence was received at 12.20pm on Tuesday and the owners of the car described the suspect as looking similar to Dorner.
Police had been following up hundreds of new leads prompted by a $1m (£640,000) reward for information.
Dorner, a naval reservist, is suspected of killing a couple on February 3 and then ambushing two policemen early on Thursday, killing one.
An angry Facebook rant with threats against the LAPD led officials to assign officers to protect officers and their families.
Within hours of the release of photos of Dorner, described as armed and “extremely dangerous,” the suspect then ambushed police in Riverside County, shooting three and killing one police officer.
LAPD Dorner Manhunt Video[media id=820 width=610 height=340]
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