Alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner, a Navy reservist and former officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who declared war on his former LAPD colleagues in a manifesto praising Obama and gun control, was confirmed dead by authorities on February 14 following a standoff with law enforcement ending Tuesday in a deadly blaze. In addition to Dorner, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremiah MacKay was also killed, reportedly shot by the rogue ex-cop at the mountain cabin where the rampage finally ended. Another deputy was reportedly wounded during a shoot-out.
Initially, officials were not sure that the former officer — accused of murdering four people during a rampage he said was aimed at clearing his name and exposing corruption in the LAPD — was actually the person killed in the cabin. However, according to a statement released on Thursday by the county coroner’s office, the charred remains were positively identified as Dorner’s.
"During the autopsy, positive identification was made through dental examination," the office said, putting an end to the confusion and speculation over whether or not the body was really that of the alleged murderer. The official cause of death still remains unclear, however, with media reports suggesting he was either killed by police bullets, the blazing inferno, or possibly even a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Now, there are also new questions being raised about the case and the massive manhunt. While the cop-killing fan of anti-gun CNN host Piers Morgan and other establishment media and political figures attracted some supporters to his murderous cause, analysts and even fierce Dorner critics are expressing serious concerns about his death. Some commentators, citing police radio transmissions released online, are claiming that Dorner was deliberately “executed” or even “murdered” by police.
According to critics of the operation, audio recordings of law enforcement communications during the standoff revealed officers deliberately plotting to kill Dorner rather than take him in alive to face trial. “Alright, we’re gonna go forward with the plan with the burner… like we talked about,” one officer is heard saying, apparently referring to the use of incendiary tear-gas canisters. Another voice is later heard saying matter-of-factly: "burners deployed and we have a fire."
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Photo of hotel surveillance footage of Christopher Dorner from Jan. 28: AP Imag