Skip to main content

Deputies fired no shots in final hours of Christopher Dorner manhunt, logs show

By Stan Wilson, CNN
updated 10:34 AM EDT, Wed April 24, 2013
The manhunt ended in Christopher Dorner's death from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The manhunt ended in Christopher Dorner's death from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.
  • San Bernardino County deputies didn't fire guns in last 2 hours of Dorner manhunt
  • Rogue ex-Los Angeles police officer refused to surrender, police logs show
  • Green smoke, allegedly set off by Dorner, was seen inside the Big Bear cabin, logs show

Los Angeles (CNN) -- In the final two hours of a dramatic standoff with rogue ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies did not fire a single gunshot during their raid of a compound where he barricaded himself after killing one deputy and seriously wounding another, according to dispatch logs.

When the SWAT team arrived on February 12, a robot-controlled tractor tore down blood-spattered walls of the vacated home near Big Bear, offering tactical teams a clean view inside the cabin, logs show.

The redacted transcripts detail the chase that began after a 911 call from a Big Bear couple whom Dorner had held hostage at gunpoint and hogtied before fleeing their condo that Tuesday afternoon.

The manhunt ended in Dorner's death from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Coroner: Dorner died of gunshot to head
Christopher Dorner's final hours
Track the events leading up to manhunt
Why was Christopher Dorner fired?

The printed text of dispatch logs began at 12:23 p.m. PT with a frantic cell-phone call to authorities from Karen Reynolds and her husband, Jim, who reported being "tied up by Chris Dorner," who had fled in their vehicle 15 to 30 minutes earlier.

According to the logs, about one hour later, the first exchange of gunfire with Dorner occurred when he was spotted by California Fish and Wildlife officers as he attempted to flee the mountain in another stolen vehicle.

Women wounded in manhunt to get $4.2 million

When officers identified Dorner's abandoned vehicle and traced him to a vacation cabin, a barrage of gunfire erupted, and hundreds of rounds were exchanged, authorities said. As the gun battle intensified, officers requested an armored vehicle and air support to protect and rescue two officers wounded in the shootout, logs showed.

The wounded officers, sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay and Deputy Alex Collins, were loaded into the flatbed of a pickup truck and later airlifted to area hospitals, where MacKay was pronounced dead. Collins was seriously wounded.

At 4:05 p.m. PT, police reported green smoke inside the cabin, allegedly set off by Dorner. Five minutes later, a sheriff's tactical unit fired gas canisters into the cabin after Dorner refused to respond to commands to surrender, logs showed.

At 4:20 p.m. PT, police dispatch logs reported the sound of a single gunshot from inside the residence. Authorities later said that shot sounded different from the many others than had come from inside the house.

Couple recounts being under protection during Dorner killing spree

Moments later, the entire cabin was engulfed in flames, setting off hundreds of rounds of live ammunition purportedly left behind by Dorner. It would take several hours for authorities to safely enter the compound, where they found Dorner's body in the basement. A preliminary examination concluded that his death was the result of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In the days after the incident, authorities defended their tactical strategy of firing gas "burners" into the cabin, stating that SWAT team officers had issued several unanswered commands for Dorner to surrender.

The dispatch logs were released in response to a request from media organizations, including CNN.

During the unprecedented manhunt that went as far as Tijuana, Mexico, the search for Dorner turned to Big Bear after his burning truck was found deserted on a local forest road.

In his manifesto posted on Facebook, Dorner allegedly threatened "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against police. The manifesto was discovered three days after the slaying of an Irvine couple, Monica Quan and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence. Quan was the daughter of a retired Los Angeles police captain whom Dorner allegedly blamed in part for his firing in 2009.

While attempting to elude authorities, Dorner killed Riverside police Officer Michael Crain during an ambush and wounded three others.

At the height of the search for Dorner, more than 200 officers scoured Big Bear Mountain, cabin by cabin.

Part of complete coverage on
L.A. cop attacks
updated 10:14 AM EST, Sat February 16, 2013
Autopsy results on former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner show he died from a single gunshot wound to the head that was likely self-inflicted.
updated 2:56 PM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
Medical examiners have positively identified the body of the renegade former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, the man authorities say killed four people and wounded three others in a vendetta against his old comrades.
updated 9:32 AM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
An ex-girlfriend of slain murder suspect Christopher Dorner said the former L.A. policeman worked in a pressure cooker and she was afraid he would target her after she heard he was the object of a manhunt.
updated 8:12 AM EST, Thu February 14, 2013
The life and apparent death of Dorner, who declared war against police corruption, has generated a social media fringe of fans who are asserting that he was really a hero seeking justice, despite being a suspect in four killings.
updated 9:31 PM EST, Thu March 7, 2013
In the wake of Chris Dorner's death, much of the talk has already turned to his political views.
updated 9:50 AM EST, Sat February 9, 2013
The manhunt for a highly trained gunman suspected of targeting cops and their families in Southern California has some startling similarities and clear differences as well.
updated 9:26 AM EST, Thu February 14, 2013
It's happened since at least the 1970s when those who knew serial killer Ted Bundy roundly described him as charming.
updated 9:46 AM EST, Sat February 9, 2013
The dreadful shooting sprees of the past few months, which claimed dozens of innocent lives, shocked and unnerved millions of Americans.
updated 11:38 AM EST, Mon February 11, 2013
Suspect Christopher Dorner sent a DVD, letter and bullet-riddled coin to Anderson Cooper. Fmr. LAPD Chief Bratton reacts.
updated 7:27 PM EST, Thu February 14, 2013
There was a killer on the loose and Los Angeles was on edge -- again.
updated 9:28 PM EDT, Tue April 23, 2013
Click through our gallery, which captures the scene of the California manhunt.
updated 8:16 PM EST, Wed February 13, 2013
In calmer days, the two California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers riding in a truck rolling down State Route 38 would have been thinking about squirrel hunting or fishing regulations.
updated 9:37 AM EST, Sat February 9, 2013
Alleged cop killer Christopher Jordan Dorner published an 11-page manifesto, apparently seeking to explain or justify murder. Targeting the children and spouses of officers is one of many specific threats Dorner makes.