San Bernardino Co. Sheriff says Dorner search is over
Updated On: Feb 14 2013 04:53:00 AM CST
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon says he "cannot absolutely, positively confirm" that the remains found in a burned-out Big Bear cabin after a shootout with deputies were those of fugitive ex-LAPD cop Christopher Jordan Dorner.
He says coroner's officials are still working to make a positive identification. McMahon notes, however, "We believe that this investigation is over at this point and we'll just need to move on from here."
Meanwhile Sheriff says deputy killed yesterday in the gunfight with Dorner was Detective Jeremiah MacKay, a 15 year veteran of the department. Deputy Alex Collins was named as the other deputy shot by Dorner, and Collins is expected to make a full recovery.
McMahon says MacKay had gone into the search happy to help his community but wary of the dangers and says he grew up in the area and followed his father into public service.
MacKay suffered multiple gunshot wounds Tuesday and was transported to Loma Linda Hospital where he died of his injuries. He was 35. MacKay was a detective who had been with the department for 15 years. He leaves behind a wife, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
Sheriff McMahon also says his deputies did not intentionally burn down a California mountain cabin where fugitive ex-police officer Christopher Dorner is believed to have died. McMahon said Wednesday that his deputies shot pyrotechnic tear gas into the cabin and it erupted in flames. He says the tactic was intended to drive Dorner out, but it was not their intention to set the cabin on fire.
Los Angeles police say they've returned to normal patrol operations. Dorner is believed to have died as the cabin where he was holed up burned to the ground yesterday, after a final shootout with authorities. He's believed responsible for four deaths.
Meanwhile, Rick Heltebrake says he instantly recognized the man who carjacked his truck as Christopher Dorner and says the man was calm and didn't want to hurt him.
Heltebrake says he was on a road near Big Bear Lake yesterday when Dorner emerged from a grove of trees holding a large, assault-style rifle. Dorner was clad in camouflage from head to toe and wearing a bulletproof vest packed with ammunition.
As teams of officers closed in on the ex-Los Angeles police officer, Dorner pointed the gun at Heltebrake and ordered him out of his truck. Heltebrake recalls Dorner saying, "I don't want to hurt you. Start walking and take your dog."
Dorner then got into the truck and drove off. Heltebrake, with his 3-year-old Dalmatian in tow, called police when he heard a volley of gunfire erupt soon after.
A short time later, police had caught up with the man they believed was Dorner, surrounding a cabin he had taken refuge in after taking Heltebrake's truck. It burned to the ground. Coroners are examining remains believed to be Dorner's.
A day after the carjacking, Heltebrake recalls Dorner as not wild-eyed, but almost professional. He says Dorner was "on a mission."
Copyright 2014 Gulf California Broadcasting. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.