SAN DIEGO – The Seven Oaks cabin where fugitive Christopher Dorner was believed holed up Tuesday was not intentionally set on fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
“We used a cold tear gas,” said McMahon. “Then, we used the next tear gas that was pyrotechnic. It does generate a lot of heat. We introduced those canisters into the residence and a fire erupted.”
“We’re going to go forward with the plan – with the burn like we talked about,” a recording of a man’s voice said.
McMahon said he still can’t “absolutely, positively confirm” the remains found in the home are that of Dorner.
“Our coroners division is working on trying to confirm the identity through forensics,” said McMahon. “We should know that at some point here soon.”
As a precaution, the LAPD said about a dozen protective law enforcement units would remain in place for some people named in Dorner’s manifesto.
“Not knowing for certain that the person that was threatening your family is no longer around and the threat no longer exists,” said Lt. Neiman. “That’s a concern and so there are some families who are literally traumatized.”
A gun battle between law enforcement and a man believed to be Dorner erupted earlier Tuesday, before the fire started. The shooting left Deputy Jeremiah MacKay dead and Deputy Alex Collins wounded.
“This is truly another sad day for law enforcement,” said McMahon. He added that MacKay had been with the department for 15 years and left behind a wife and two young children.
As investigators wait for confirmation on the remains, LAPD officials said the Irvine murder investigation continues.
“There’s still much work to be done,” said LAPD Lt. Andrew Neiman. “We just don’t stop an investigation just because the suspected individual may no longer be available.”