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Riverside officer wounded in Dorner manhunt is identified

February 14, 2013 | 10:28 pm

Riverside Officer Andrew Tachias was wounded in Dorner manhuntA Riverside officer who authorities say was wounded in an attack by Christopher Jordan Dorner was identified Thursday as Andrew Tachias. 

Tachias was shot Feb. 7 while he was on patrol with Officer Michael Crain, 34, who was fatally wounded when the gunfire erupted while they were waiting at a red light.

Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz called the attack a "cowardly ambush."

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Tachias was born in West Covina and previously was an officer with the Inglewood Police Department, authorities said. He transferred to the Riverside Police Department in December. 

Tachias was in stable condition Thursday at a hospital, the department said.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday that it had identified the charred remains found in a mountain cabin Tuesday as being the body of  Dorner. 

The announcement brings a formal end to the massive law enforcement dragnet that ended in a fiery shootout in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear. Dorner died Tuesday at the end of a hours-long gun battle as flames engulfed the cabin where he and officers exchanged hundreds of rounds. As the gunfight raged, one San Bernardino County deputy was killed and another was seriously wounded.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

SWAT officers who had taken up positions in the heavily forested area decided to fire highly flammable "hot gas" canisters as a last resort after other efforts to persuade Dorner to surrender failed, according to law enforcement sources.

Officers made the decision to deploy the gas projectiles, which sparked the blaze, as the sun was setting and authorities worried about dealing with the volatile situation in the darkness, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Dorner had continued to fire on officers, and they feared more deputies would be hurt or killed, they added.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said deputies did not purposely burn down the cabin. He said they deployed the CS canisters after they were left with no other options.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Searching for suspected shooter

"I can tell you it was not on purpose," he said. "We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out."

McMahon praised the deputies involved in the firefight. "It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go in the area .... Our deputies are true heroes."

Dorner, an ex-LAPD officer embittered by his firing in 2009, killed the daughter of a retired LAPD captain, her fiance and two law officers during a nine-day rampage that began in Irvine, police say.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

The news that Dorner's remains had been identified brought a collective feeling of relief to residents in the area where he had been hiding out.

Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte said he was relieved that the manhunt was over. The area was "freed of the sense of being a community that is not safe because there is a cop-killer hiding in our little mountain town."

ALSO:

Christopher Dorner hostages: 'He tried to calm us down'

Dorner case: Who, if anyone, will get $1-million reward is unclear

Dorner case: Mother says family does not condone her son's actions

— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Officer Andrew Tachias. Credit: Riverside Police Department
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