L.A. Now Live: Tough tactics used in Christopher Dorner shootout
Times staff writer Richard Winton will join us at 9 a.m. to talk about the law enforcement tactics used this week in the shootout with fugitive Christopher Dorner.
Dorner, the fired Los Angeles policeman suspected of killing four people in a campaign of revenge, had been holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake for hours, trading gunfire with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies. Repeated calls over a loudspeaker for him to surrender went ignored. Attempts to flush him out with tear gas led nowhere.
Wanting to end the standoff before nightfall, members of the sheriff's SWAT unit enacted a plan they had devised for a final assault on the cabin, according to law enforcement sources. An officer drove a demolition vehicle up to the building and methodically tore down most of its walls, the sources said.
With the cabin's interior exposed, the officer got on the radio to others awaiting his order. "We're going to go forward with the plan, with the burner," an unidentified officer said, according to a recording of police radio transmissions reviewed by The Times.
"The burner" was shorthand for a grenade-like canister containing a more powerful type of tear gas than had been used earlier. Within minutes the cabin was fully engulfed in flames, ending a dramatic manhunt that captivated the nation.