Major Questions Surrounding Dorner Case Beginning to Swirl Online

Feb 13, 2013
11:17 pm

By now, you have heard about the developments surrounding Christopher Dorner. Many stories are flying about the Internet which raise several questions about what really happened yesterday near Big Bear Mountain.

Christopher Dorner

Today the Los Angeles Times reported the following story, suggesting that incendiary tear gas used by police was the cause behind the fire that engulfed the cabin where Dorner was in:

Faced with regular barrages of gunfire, officers confronting suspected killer Christopher Dorner lobbed incendiary tear gas into the cabin where Dorner allegedly was holed up, said law enforcement officials with knowledge of the situation.

The cabin caught on fire and authorities believe Dorner was burned inside. A body was discovered but authorities have not confirmed it was Dorner.

Law enforcement sources said the officers got into several gun battles with Dorner during a nearly four-hour siege at the cabin in the Big Bear area. The standoff began when Dorner allegedly fatally shot a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy and seriously injured another.

SWAT officers surrounding the cabin were under a “constant barrage of gunfire,” one source said. “He put himself in that position. There weren’t a lot of options.”

Hoping to end the standoff, law enforcement authorities first lobbed “traditional” tear gas into the cabin. When that did not work, they opted to use CS gas canisters, which are known in law enforcement parlance as incendiary tear gas. These canisters have significantly more chance of starting a fire. This gas can cause humans to have burning eyes and start to feel as if they are being starved for oxygen. It is often used to drive barricaded individuals out.

If the body is identified as Dorner’s, the standoff would end a weeklong manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant suspected in a string of shootings following his firing by the Los Angeles Police Department several years ago. Four people have died in the case, allegedly at Dorner’s hands.

Beck said he would not consider the manhunt over until the body was identified as Dorner. Police remained on tactical alert and were conducting themselves as if nothing had changed in the case, officials said.

This first video recorded by someone watching local Los Angeles TV would suggest that it was the intention that police wanted to burn the cabin down.

However, as the next video shows, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said, “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out.” He also confirmed that some of the tear gas canisters used were “pyrotechnic.”

This video, although yet unconfirmed, presents more police conversation outside the cabin.

Then there is this from CNN last night: “[Updated at 8:34 p.m. ET] At some point today, a suspect tried to get out the back door of the cabin, but he was pushed back inside, U.S. Marshals Service district chief Kurt Ellingson told CNN’s Brian Todd.”
Finally, a
new meme is presenting this information:


Last Thursday, the LA Times reported this:

After authorities interviewed the boat captain early Thursday, they found Dorner’s wallet and identification cards “at the San Ysidro Point of Entry” near the U.S.-Mexico border. That same day, a guard at the Point Loma Naval Base told authorities he had spotted a man matching Dorner’s description trying sneak onto the base, according to the court records.

Yesterday, USA TODAY reported this:

A wallet with a California driver’s license bearing the name Christopher Dorner also was found, the Associated Press reported, citing a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation but declined to be named because of the ongoing probe.

This is obviously not such a clear-cut case. Not even close.