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Manhunt for alleged killer of coach, cops may be over after shootout

Charred human remains have been found in the debris of the burned-out Big Bear area cabin where police believe fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was holed up, authorities said late Tuesday night.

 

Investigators will attempt to identify the remains through forensic means, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Dorner, whose alleged crimes have kept Southern California on edge for days, is wanted in connection with the slayings of Cal State Fullerton assistant women's basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, as well as two law enforcement officers. Dorner was believed to have shot at pursuing law enforcement officials, then fled into a cabin shortly before it ignited Tuesday afternoon near ski resorts in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Authorities had lost track of Dorner since late last week. Then, on Tuesday, two maids stumbled upon a man resembling Dorner as they arrived to clean a vacant cabin.

The suspect was found close to where law enforcement officials had held news conferences over the weekend concerning their search for Dorner, 33, and near where Dorner’s car was set aflame last week.

The suspect tied the two maids up, took a car from the residence and left, according to a law enforcement official. One of the maids was eventually able to break free at the residence in the 1200 block of Club View Drive, close to Snow Summit and Bear Mountain Resort, and called 911 at 12:20 p.m.

Then, at 12:45 p.m., according to state Fish and Wildlife officials, the suspect was allegedly driving a purple Nissan on California 38 when he passed a marked vehicle driven by the agency’s law enforcement officers.

The officers recognized the suspect as he passed and swung their vehicle around in pursuit.

The suspect attempted to evade them by turning off onto Glass Road, and at some point crashed and abandoned the small car.

With officers still in pursuit, the suspect then stopped a truck driven by another resident and ordered him out of the vehicle.

Behind the wheel of the stolen truck, the suspect was once again careening down Glass Road, and once again he passed a Fish and Wildlife vehicle coming from the opposite direction. Again an officer recognized the suspect. That driver radioed his colleagues traveling behind him that the suspect was heading in their direction in a silver pickup.

When the suspect saw the second Fish and Wildlife truck approaching, he rolled down his window and took aim. The suspect opened fire into the cab as the vehicles passed just two feet apart, shattering the driver's side window and strafing the state truck with a handgun.

The badly damaged truck skidded to a halt and a game warden, a 35-year-old former Marine, fired 20 rounds from a high-powered rifle as the suspect fled in the hijacked truck.

The suspect subsequently crashed that truck and ran into the woods. He ended up in the cabin. A firefight ensued. Two San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were shot; one was pronounced dead at a hospital, while another is undergoing surgery. Hundreds of rounds were fired in the firefight.

For days, multiple law enforcement agencies from across Southern California laid out a dragnet for the man accused of going on a revenge-fueled rampage following his termination from the LAPD in 2008. In addition to the San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy who was fatally wounded Tuesday, Dorner allegedly killed Quan, the 28-year-old daughter of a former LAPD captain, her fiance and a Riverside police officer.

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