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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Nine Days of Terror: The Hunt for Christopher Dorner
Aired February 13, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening here on the East Coast. And we begin tonight with a special day of 360: "Nine Days of Terror: The Hunt For Christopher Dorner."
Tonight, every moment that mattered, from the roots of his rage, the terror he inflicted, to the flames that apparently consumed his body, how authorities cornered him and more importantly why they failed to find him sooner.
You're going to hear from the man who came face to face with the combat-ready, but businesslike Dorner as he describes what might have been a fatal encounter on a lonely road just moments before gunshots erupted and all hell broke loose.
Later, the empathy that's really shocking to many, but not to some for the allegations of institutional racism that Dorner made against the LAPD. We are going to talk to an ex-LAPD officer who is horrified by what happened, but, sadly, not surprised.
We begin, though, with breaking news. Federal, state and local authorities have been briefing reporters on the latest. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon identifying the deputy who was killed in that final shoot-out. He was Detective Jeremiah MacKay, 35 years old, a 15-year-old veteran of the department and a father of two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
Sheriff McMahon also said that additional testing will be done to conclusively identify the burned body, which is believed to be that of Christopher Dorner.
In addition, he denied any concerted effort to set that fire. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, SHERIFF: I can tell you that it was not on purpose. We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out. The tear gas canisters that we used, first off, we used a presence when we showed up. Secondly, we used a cold tear gas. Then we used -- the next tear gas was that that was pyrotechnic. It does generate a lot of heat. We introduced those canisters into the residence and a fire erupted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sheriff McMahon was also asked, but would not answer if Dorner had been planning additional attacks in the area.
So that's where things stand right now.
Let's take a look, though, here at how we got to this moment, how the final chapter began.
And 360's Gary Tuchman has that.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 12:22 p.m. on Tuesday, that's when a 911 call came in with the first real sighting of fugitive Christopher Dorner in days.
Two people who were hired to clean houses in the Big Bear area run into a man who looks like Dorner. He ties them up and then takes off in their purple Nissan. One of the cleaners is able to escape. That's when she calls police.
It turns out they were tied up in a house right across the street from the San Bernardino sheriff's command center. 12:45 p.m., Fish and Wildlife officials spot a purple car driving on California 38. They begin to pursue him.
LT. PATRICK FOY, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE: The suspect quickly realized he had been identified.
TUCHMAN: Dorner tries to evade them, at one point crashing and taken to the woods on foot. With the officers still in pursuit, Dorner then stops a truck driven by a resident named Rick Heltebrake.
Dorner pulls a gun on him, but then allows him to leave unharmed with his dog. Dorner is now behind the wheel of a silver pickup truck and gets back on the highway. He once again passes by a Fish and Wildlife official coming from the opposite direction and once again he is recognized. The officer radios his colleagues who are on the road behind him and warn them Dorner is heading straight for them.
When Dorner spots the vehicle, he rolls down his window and opens fire.
FOY: The warden who was in front realized -- noticed a white truck coming down, driving erratically at a pretty high rate of speed. The suspect rolled his window down. And when the second patrol truck came up with the two windows inside, that's when he engaged in the shooting with our wardens as they were driving. He did hit the truck multiple times.
TUCHMAN: Dorner heads up Glass Road, abandons the truck and takes refuge in a cabin. San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies arrive. And an intense firefight breaks out. A reporter for local station KCBS is also on the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very fluid situation. We're staying here. We don't want to get caught in the crossfire ourselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, come here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, come here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here now.
TUCHMAN: This exclusive video shot by KCBS.
TUCHMAN: Two deputies are shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Returning fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're returning fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have an officer down, officer down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. Officer down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medic ship is in the air. Medic ship is in the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another officer down.
TUCHMAN: One officer later dies at the hospital. Dorner has now claimed four lives in his rampage. In an effort to get Dorner out, police fire tear gas into the cabin and then begin to rip the walls down one by one. Then:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go forward the plan with the -- with the burn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copy.
TUCHMAN: Flames and smoke begin to rise from the cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have fire in the front. He might come out the back.
TUCHMAN: Still unclear just how that fire started and spread. Soon afterwards:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like one shot fired from inside the residence.
TUCHMAN: What we don't know, whether Dorner shot himself or died in the flames. The fire burns for hours, authorities thinking Dorner still inside. And late Tuesday, they say a charred body has been found. The police have not positively confirmed this is the body of Christopher Dorner. LT. ANDY NEIMAN, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: There is a lot of apprehension today in any kind of celebration because this really is not a celebration. This has been a very trying time over the last couple of weeks for all of those involved and all those families, friends and everybody that has been touched by this Dorner incident.
TUCHMAN: The first officer shot by Dorner was laid to rest today. The manhunt is over, though the investigation into how and why this man was able to elude police for nine days is just beginning.
Gary Tuchman, CNN.
COOPER: Now to the man who lost his truck to Christopher Dorner but is alive to tell the story. I spoke with Rick Heltebrake a short time ago.
COOPER: Take me through what happened. You were coming up a side road on the highway and you saw some law enforcement in the area. What happened?
RICK HELTEBRAKE, ENCOUNTERED DORNER: I saw something moving in the trees and I could see that it was somebody with a gun. There's been a lot of people around here with guns searching buildings and like that, so I'm used to seeing them. But it was an odd area for that to be.
And by the time that process ended, I realized it was Christopher Dorner. And I saw a vehicle crashed in the snow behind him, and he came up to the window of my truck, my driver window with his gun pointed at me and he said, I don't want to hurt you, just get out and start walking and take your dog.
COOPER: How did he look to you?
HELTEBRAKE: He looked calm, kind of more like well-trained, you know, businesslike almost. You know, he didn't have any crazy eyes or anything like that. He was dressed in all military-style camouflage, ballistic vest on with some pockets in the front, could have had rifle magazines or smoke bombs or something in them. I couldn't tell.
COOPER: You said a ballistic vest. You mean like a Kevlar vest?
HELTEBRAKE: Yes, a big thick vest, the kinds I have seen on him in the pictures I have seen, military style.
It was all very calm. He was calm. I was calm. It was clear that he didn't consider me one of his targets. He just needed my vehicle. And he said get out and start walking and take your dog and that's what I did. I asked if I could get her leash, and he said no, just start walking.
So I started walking up the road, and I got about maybe 20 seconds up the road, maybe 10 seconds, something like that, not very far and I heard a big burst of gunfire down by where my truck was. So apparently he had turned my truck around and was heading down the direction from which I had just come, and he came head on into a sheriff's unit and there was a firefight there.
When I heard the gunfire, I bailed out into the snow, which was on the side of the road, and ran into the snow a little ways until I got to a big tree, got some cover, and I took out my cell phone and I called my friend, the sheriff deputy who I had just seen recently. He's a local deputy up here that lives in the area and patrols this area for San Bernardino County.
I called him directly. He said, Rick, what do you got? I said, Paul, he just took my truck. Excuse me. Paul, he just took my truck. So, Paul confirmed my truck description, and he said OK.
And I hung up and I just kept running out towards the highway, just to keep getting away and I called a friend from another camp. I said drop what you're doing and come pick me up, which they did in a little while, and we drove down to where the highway patrol had already set up a roadblock. And I said just pull here, stop here. I wanted to just sit and relax where I felt safe, near the roadblock and the police officers there.
COOPER: But let me ask you, how far -- the location where he took your truck, how far is that from the cabin where he, according to authorities, ended up?
HELTEBRAKE: It's about three, three-and-a-half miles, something like that, down that windy road.
COOPER: And how far from where the truck ended up is that from the cabin? Do you know?
HELTEBRAKE: I'm not really sure. I couldn't really tell where that truck was in the photo I saw in the news.
HELTEBRAKE: I couldn't really get a bearing on it. I don't think it's very far.
COOPER: All right. So what we're assuming is that he went on foot from the time he got out of your vehicle to that cabin. That's the assumption.
COOPER: I'm just trying to figure out the distance.
Rick, this may be a dumb question, but you have a guy pointing a gun at you. Obviously, you knew who it was. Did you feel in danger or did you feel like this is a transaction, he's acting rationally?
HELTEBRAKE: Well, I felt endangered as far as knowing what his history was, and that I had a gun pointed at my head. However, he said he didn't want to hurt me and I believed him. He wanted me to get out of my truck and walk up the road with my dog, and that's what I did. And he needed a vehicle and he took my truck.
COOPER: How do you feel now, having had this experience with him and knowing what's happened subsequently? How do you feel?
HELTEBRAKE: I feel, you know, I'm unfortunate. I feel like he might have had some compassion for me and my dog, make sure you take your dog. I liked that. I'm totally a dog guy and that was a big thing for me, you know, and one thing is, I have been kind of inundated with e-mails on Facebook and stuff and people calling me a hero and all that stuff.
I just want to be clear that the real heroes are the law enforcement officers that are out there doing this job every day. We just had a funeral in Riverside today from the officer that was killed the other day. And now we're going to have another one in San Bernardino soon, because Mr. Dorner determined that I wasn't a target, but he was able to find one of his targets down the road. And now we have one less sheriff's deputy in San Bernardino County.
COOPER: Well, it's an important thing to remember.
And, Rick, I appreciate you talking to us. Thank you.
HELTEBRAKE: OK, thank you.
COOPER: Let us know what you think about all this. Follow me on Twitter right now at @AndersonCooper. I'm tweeting about this.
Next: more revelations agent how the hunt for Dorner unfolded and how it ended, also, what made Dorner tick and why some aren't surprised that he exploded. A top local reporter joins us, along with LAPD veteran John Miller, as our special 360 coverage continues.
COOPER: We have got breaking news tonight, after nine days of terror. A special 360 report continues.
Authorities identifying the San Bernardino deputy killed in yesterday's shoot-out with fugitive Christopher Dorner, Detective Jeremiah MacKay, just 35 years, a father of a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old sop. Another lawman, a wounded deputy, remains in the hospital tonight. He's expected to fully recover, authorities say, but will need additional surgery.
As for the fire that consumed the cabin, the San Bernardino sheriff said it was not deliberately set to drive out Dorner. He also said more testing will be done to confirm the charred corpse is in fact Dorner. But it's fair to as far as law enforcement is concerned, the manhunt is over.
Joining me now is one of the reporters who hasn't had much sleep in the last nine days, Joel Rubin of "The Los Angeles Times."
Joel, you guys at "The Times" have done remarkable reporting on this story, particularly just in the last 24 hours. What are the most significant developments that you have learned today?
JOEL RUBIN, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, I think just hearing the San Bernardino sheriff say that while they can't 100 percent say for sure it is Dorner's body that they found, that the manhunt is over, as you mentioned, which is the -- which equates to it was him.
As we talked about last night, if they had any inkling, any doubt that perhaps it wasn't him, that they would not have stood down this massive manhunt. Also, the questions that have erupted over Twitter and kind of the blogosphere the fire that erupted at the cabin, and hearing the sheriff say unequivocally that they did not intentionally set that fire, whether that extinguishes, sorry the pun, extinguishes the conspiracies out there, we will see.
But we have learned I think and can believe with some confidence that the incendiary device that was used was not used to set the fire, but in order to deploy this agent that is meant to drive Dorner out of the cabin.
COOPER: Let me play that piece of audio, because it is -- as you said, a lot of folks on Twitter, on social media are talking about that. It's a conversation from the police department scanner during the operation at the cabin yesterday. I just want to play a second of that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very fluid situation. We're staying here. We don't want to get caught in the crossfire ourselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, come here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, come here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: This is clearly the wrong tape.
On the audio, can you explain, Joel, what people say they have heard and what you think it means?
RUBIN: Sure. Yes.
I have reviewed the audio that's circulating around myself. And while not verbatim, there's talk amongst the -- it comes at the time the officers who were involved in dismantling the cabin wall by wall, they were using a demolition vehicle, in which they could sort of take the walls down one by one so they knew what they were dealing with inside.
In the process of doing that, there's a lot of radio chatter between the officers, and at one point, there's talk of deploying the burners, which has led a lot of people to conclude that it was an intentional ignition of fire.
Shortly after the talk of the burners, there is a report by one of the officers of a fire breaking out and then quickly engulfing the cabin. Today at the press conference, the sheriff was asked about that term burners and what they were. He said that that is a colloquial term for a type of tear gas that they deployed, which does have a heating agent involved.
It's an elevated type of tear gas. The heating agent I have been told by members of the LAPD SWAT who are familiar with it, that the heating agent is not used to set a fire, but to deploy the tear gas in a more potent way, but it can cause fires. And that seems to be what happened.
COOPER: The other thing that's raised a lot of questions, Joel, as you know, is last night there seemed to be discrepancies between what the LAPD and the sheriff's department in San Bernardino were saying. Have the agencies cleared up their stories? Does it make sense to you now? Do you know what was going on last night?
RUBIN: No, I'm not sure we will ever get a clear answer.
But I think we can speculate that it was just a very chaotic situation, and I think there was a lot of -- obviously a lot of frayed nerves. And whenever you get several agencies involved covering a huge territory and especially covering a story that everybody, the world is paying attention to, you're going to get a lot of attention between the agencies.
I think, and this is just me speculating, that the LAPD didn't want to get out ahead of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. It was their operation, and perhaps San Bernardino was putting some pressure on LAPD to back off, and then these reports came out and some of them attributed the LAPD -- to the LAPD saying that a body had been found.
I think there was probably just a lot of frayed nerves going on and everybody just wanted to back off. So the LAPD took this somewhat confusing, extraordinary stance which they unequivocally denied any reports that a body had been found.
At the time, that may have been true. We had sources telling us that a body had been found. It may have been that they were reporting their conclusion that the body was inside because of their confidence that they had seen Dorner inside. We're still trying to figure it all out.
COOPER: All right, Joel Rubin, I appreciate and I know it's been an incredibly busy days. I particular you taking the time to talk to us.
Joining me now is John Miller, who worked in counterterrorism and criminal intelligence for the LAPD. Currently, of course, he's a senior correspondent at "CBS This Morning."
What have you learned in the last 24 hours or so that you find most interesting?
JOHN MILLER, CBS NEWS: A number of things. Number one, the fact that -- you say how do you gauge their confidence level that that's Dorner inside?
I think one critical gauge is last night, Andy Smith, the LAPD commander, said we're not going to remove any of the protective details on the people on this hit list until we're absolutely sure that's him in there.
COOPER: More than 50-plus people, we believe.
MILLER: So that's 58 families and members of the department who are under guard. And that was more than 400 officers.
MILLER: This is the metro division. These are the gangs divisions, the narcotics divisions from all of the areas of the LAPD had been mobilized to a plainclothes surveillance portion as well as a high- profile uniform portion.
Frankly, this is something we haven't gotten into while it was going on, but I think we can say it now, is that the threat was so high and some of the locations were so difficult to protect that entire families, husbands, wives and children were moved into police stations.
COOPER: They were actually living in the police stations?
MILLER: That's right. And the police station themselves have what they call station defense posture, which is the kind of posture they would put out during disorder or a riot where the station is defended by an armed group on the perimeter.
So this was fairly unlike anything experienced before. When you saw those 400 officers go to work and some of those families go home, you saw kind of a great exhaling today in Los Angeles.
COOPER: And is it clearer to you how long -- I mean, what I still don't understand is -- and we may not know this, and you may not know this -- how long Dorner was in that other cabin where he allegedly took two people hostage? Was that the only cabin he had been staying in? And why wasn't he found if there were door-to-door searches?
MILLER: OK. So that is not even clear to them yet.
But that was treated as a crime scene, A., because a crime occurred there, but maybe because they also want to know that. So, they're going to be looking forensically and evidence-wise to see what's in there, what things in there that are date-stamped or they can kind of get a time for how long he was in there. It could have been he was in there the whole time. It could have been that he was in there a number of hours before. The idea that it looked out on to the ranger station which for a time served as the command post and that he would have had a view of operations actually hearkens to something he said in his manifesto, which was incident command posts will be a target-rich environment. And here he is holed up in an apartment that almost has a view directly on the command post on the other side of the road with a Barrett automatic sniper rifle with .50-caliber armor-piercing bullets.
You have to ask yourself two questions. One, when his truck broke down and he took off with the weapons and gear he could carry, was that the first place he could find to get into? Or, two, did he choose it because it would give him an observation post and potentially a target?
COOPER: Are you aware how far the broken-down truck was from that location?
MILLER: I haven't been there, but I was told it's not that far away. This might have been the first place he encountered. Or he might have hid and found his way back to it.
About the search, because you asked about that, they would check houses and if there was any forced entry apparent, they would go in and check that house to determine did that have anything to do with him, was he still there? If there were houses that were unlocked, they would check those.
But where there was sign of no forced entry, generally, that was a sign to them that this was intact in general. There were some exceptions. They didn't make a forced entry to places that were already locked. So you could consider a scenario where he would have found an unlocked place or found a hidden key, made an entry and locked it behind him.
And that's the kind of building that given the amount they had to deal with, 660 cabins and then a large number of condos and other things that they might not have ever gotten to.
COOPER: We found the correct audio referencing kind of lighting up the house. I want to play that and have you talk about it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go forward with the plan with the burn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The burner is deployed and we have a fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. Seven burners deployed and we have a fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, be ready on the number four side. We have fire in the front. He might come out the back.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: So some people who have listened to that and a lot of folks on Twitter right now have said that is evidence they believe that the police were wanting to light the house up on fire, maybe to smoke him out or to kill him inside.
MILLER: So, from a tactical standpoint, and I think when you listen to that audio, you have to have those concerns and those questions, whether that's terminology or whether that's intent. Those questions will all be asked. That's part of this process here.
But from a tactical standpoint, you have got cold gas and you have got hot gas. They deployed both in these cases.
COOPER: Tear gas?
The difference between the cold gas and hot gas is that the hot gas, as you indicated a couple minutes ago, burns at a higher temperature. It's more intense and it will drive a suspect out sooner and faster. That's the upside of it tactically.
The risk factor tactically is it doesn't always catch fire. It does burn the gas out of the -- it's called a tactical pocket grenade. It does burn the gas out and the gas is stronger. But it also has a higher risk of fire depending on how it's deployed and depending on what it hits going in, whether it gets tied up in the curtains or lands on a piece of fabric or rolls across the floor. Depending on those circumstances, it has a higher incidence of fire than cold gas.
COOPER: You know the suspicion of law enforcement in this, that they were angry that a fellow officer has been killed, a San Bernardino detective was killed on that very day just shortly before that, so that the conspiracy theory, the suspicion is that in anger they would want to kill him.
Do you think there is that in a sense, or do you think they would have wanted to get him out alive?
MILLER: I think if you look at it from -- no one can know the answer to that, unless we get into their minds.
But I think if you look at it from purely a tactical sense, they deployed the regular tools that they would in a rare circumstance like this where you had heavily a armed man who was known to have already killed a number of people and who by the fact that he was firing on you by a .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds intended to kill more people.
So this is where you're going to use the available tactical tools you have, no matter how harsh they may be, to get him out of there. Now, if those devices started the fire, we also have to consider there was nothing keeping him in that residence. He could have come out the back door with his hands up. He could have waved a white flag.
He determined to stay in there. He apparently determined as it seems from the audio we have heard to probably shoot himself and take his own life. But in these things, there is a modicum of control that the perpetrator has, and he exercised that.
COOPER: John Miller, always good to have you. John, thanks.
MILLER: Good to be here.
COOPER: There's a lot more to talk about, including Christopher Dorner's allegations against the LAPD. Just ahead, the burned-out cabin where Dorner presumably died remains an active crime scene, of course. The family that owns the property now part of a drama they never expected.
Today, they tried to check out the damage for themselves. We will show you how that went.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. This should definitely get your attention. Christopher Dorner is a folk hero to some on social media. There's praise, no shortage of conspiracy theories about what went down. A closer look at that ahead on 360.
COOPER: Well, Hollywood couldn't have scripted a more dramatic end game to the manhunt for Christopher Dorner. Snowy mountain backdrop, hostages, carjackings, shoot-outs, the fugitive holed up in a cabin, surrounded, outnumbered, the cabin bursting into flames. Million, of course, watched it unfold live on television, including the cabin's owner, Kyle Martin, the son of the owner. I was on the phone with Kyle as he watched it. Here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Kyle, for the pictures that you're seeing, does it seem to you as if the entire cabin is pretty much on fire?
KYLE MARTIN, SON OF CABIN'S OWNER: Yes, from what I can see, it actually looks like maybe the barn is too, there's a barn about ten feet away from it. I can't quite tell, though. But it's all sad and everything, but you know, this is just material stuff, you know. I feel bad for the people who have lost loved ones and what not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: An important point, certainly, but you can imagine how anxious Kyle and his family is to see what, if anything, is left of their cabin.
Randi Kaye spent the day with him, trying to get off that mountain. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RANDI KAYE, CNN IREPORTER (voice-over): Less than 12 hours after he watched his family's cabin burn to the ground, Kyle Martin is determined to see what's left.
Before making the two-hour drive up here to the Big Bear Mountain area, Kyle checked online to see if Highway 38 was open. It was at Highway 38 and Glass Road where the shootout took place, between the suspect and the Fish and Game officers.
MARTIN: I do know it's closed. I do know that it's open to residents. As far as how close they'll let me get, I don't know. I know it's still -- I think it's still a homicide scene, so we're going to try our luck.
KAYE: Of course, when the standoff started Tuesday, Kyle's sister texted him to tell him SWAT teams were on their road at their cabin. She had recognized the tennis courts.
(on camera): What did you think when you saw your cabin, your cabin burning on live TV?
MARTIN: It's kind of funny, because when we first heard it, I was in the car and listening to the radio, and you know, it was kind of surreal. And then when we finally got home, I turned on the TV just to see it burning.
You know, yes, it kind of hit home. You know, memories. After about I would say five minutes, it just kind of sunk in and just looking at it, I'm going through my head, the nation is watching our cabin burn.
KAYE (voice-over): Kyle's family has had the cabin since 2004. They rented it out often. It was their family business. For nearly a week, Kyle had been watching the manhunt play out on TV. He admits the thought crossed his mind, what if Christopher Dorner ended up at his cabin?
MARTIN: I even jokingly around, not ever thinking he would go there, say if anything, that would be a good place for someone to hold up if they wanted to.
KAYE (on camera): Because you knew it was empty and secluded?
MARTIN: It was empty and secluded, and rarely do you get visitors.
KAYE: This was not the first time police had been to Kyle's cabin. In fact, they had just been there two days before the fire. The scary thing is, at that time, Kyle's aunts were staying at the cabin. So if this whole thing had gone down then, Kyle's family might have been harmed.
(voice-over): As we made our way down Highway 38 toward Glass Road, Kyle's luck runs out. Road closed.
MARTIN: It's closed. They're not going to let us through. We can turn around up here.
KAYE: You want to give it a shot?
MARTIN: Yes. I'm just going to ask. I was wondering if residents can get through?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certain residents, yes, with proper I.D. Where are you going to?
MARTIN: OK. I have -- It's the main house, the cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What street?
MARTIN: 7 Oaks Road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to go down Glass Road? No, not there.
MARTIN: Not even if I'm the owner of the house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not letting anybody in. And that may be a while.
KAYE: The deputy directed Kyle to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, who tells him the same thing. His cabin is still an active crime scene and he has to wait.
(on camera): He still didn't go for it?
KAYE: Are you frustrated?
MARTIN: No. Because I understand what they're doing. You know, I don't want to get in their way.
KAYE (voice-over): Kyle is trying to have a good attitude about this, but his family has been through a lot. His father died suddenly last year, and his grandfather died last week. So this is hard to handle. He feels for those who have lost loved ones during this man hunt.
MARTIN: Cabins can be rebuilt, but you know, the lives that this guy took and injured for that matter, my condolences out to them. You know, they're in a far worse spot than I am and my family.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Big Bear Mountain.
COOPER: That is certainly true.
Believe it or not, this guy Christopher Dorner has what you might even call fans online. There's a fair amount of support and empathy for him being expressed on social media. Psychologically speaking, what's behind showing support for a killer? We'll look into that next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Passengers aboard that stranded passenger ship are reporting absolutely horrible conditions. Few working bathrooms, long lines for food. We'll tell you what kind of help is on the way for the thousands of people on that ship when it's expected to be towed back to land, when we continue.
COOPER: Just want to completely recap our breaking news tonight. Authorities in San Bernardino County identified the deputy killed at Christopher Dorner's final shootout. He was Detective Jeremiah MacKay, just 35 years old, the father of a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
As we told you, another lawman, a wounded deputy, remains in the hospital tonight. Authorities say he is expected to make a full recovery, though he may need more surgery.
Meantime, you might be surprised to know there's been a show of support for Christopher Dorner on social media. As we mentioned, there are conspiracy theories, empathy by some for his manifesto and his grievances against the LAPD. In the world of Twitter and Facebook, it seems really anyone can get a fan base, and Dorner is no exception.
Dan Simon reports.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Sheriff McMahan has asked that all the helicopters pull back or leave the area of the barricaded suspect.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As police asked news helicopters to back off...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) shots fired.
SIMON: ... and as the cabin went up in flames, social media also lit up, with users like this one crying conspiracies. "So U.S. authorities have apparently burned someone to death in a cabin and let it burn through the basement so no body is left."
Another user, referring to reports that Dorner's I.D. was found: "Come on, people. How in the world is Dorner's body burned beyond recognition but they found his license he just so happened to be carrying?"
Another pervasive theory: "I think Dorner probably killed someone and left their body in that fire while he escaped."
Others blasted the police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go -- we're going to go forward with the plan with the burn.
SIMON: Blaming them for the cabin fire: "LAPD was prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner yesterday. They burned him alive."
"Apparently, burning people alive is considered now appropriate behavior for the police."
From the very beginning, Dorner had found plenty of sympathizers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to start off by saying that I perfectly support, 100 percent, what Chris Dorner is doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I read this manifesto and basically, I believe him.
SIMON: On Facebook, more than 18,000 likes for a page titled "We stand with Christopher Dorner."
On Instagram, the rapper Ab-Soul (ph) spoke for many when he said this about Dorner's rampage: "This was a necessary evil. God bless you, sir."
KAREN NORTH, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Please like anti- heroes, and we have a heroes rooting for people like Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy.
SIMON: USC professor Karen North studies the intersection of psychology and social media.
NORTH: One of the things that social media has allowed us to do is to join conversations and not be as accountable for our opinions.
SIMON: In other words, people may express things online they wouldn't necessarily say to their friends in public. Others just like to be provocative.
Still, this user poses a question many today are asking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is America showing so much support for him?
SIMON: Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
COOPER: It was Dorner's rage at the LAPD that led to the path of death and destruction that played out over nine days.
Brian Bentley, who is a former LAPD officer, says he understands Dorner's frustration. He was on the force for ten years in the 1990s. He's been outspoken about what he calls rampant racism at the LAPD. He says he was fired for writing a book called "One Time: The Story of a South Central Los Angeles Police Officer," detailing what he said was misconduct, racism that he witnessed while he was with the LAPD. Brian Bentley joins me now.
So Brian, thanks for being with us. You were on the LAPD for ten years in the 1990s when the department was dealing with a number of race-related scandals. I know you don't condone in any way what Dorner did, but you say you understand some of his anger. How so?
BRIAN BENTLEY, FORMER LAPD OFFICER/AUTHOR: Well, of course I understand, because as a police officer, I learned the hard way. There isn't a place to -- to express your opinion if you're a whistleblower. You're automatically become an outcast. You're automatically -- are harassed by supervision.
And there is nowhere to turn. You can't go to attorneys, because if you're fired you don't have the money. If you don't have the money, you don't have money to seek counseling to get help. And so you feel like there's nowhere to turn.
And when I wrote my book, I wrote my book -- the purpose of it was because I felt there wasn't an outlet for me to express what I was dealing with. And I turned to writing as opposed to doing what he did. But some of the things that I wrote about, I had never -- I hadn't seen them since I wrote about it, until Dorner expressed his feelings and his manifesto.
COOPER: Do you believe the LAPD has changed, though? Because I mean, minority recruitment is up significantly. They have made huge efforts of outrage to the community in L.A. Do you think there has been significant change?
BENTLEY: I know there has not been change. There has not been a significant change.
It is different from when I came up. When I came up, my training officer looked at me in my eye the first day and told me, "You're black. You don't belong on this job. My job is not to train you. It's to get you fired, because you slipped through the cracks."
Of course, they can't say that any more, but that opinion is still there. That view of the department still runs -- it runs through that department. And there's lots of proof to that claim.
ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: I'm Isha Sesay with a breaking news. The couple who say they were held hostage by Christopher Dorner yesterday spoke out just a short time ago about their ordeal. Listen to this.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
KAREN REYNOLDS, HELD HOSTAGE BY DORNER: Hello, everyone. We would like to make a statement regarding the incident that occurred here yesterday afternoon.
First of all, I'd like to introduce ourselves. This is my husband, Jim Reynolds, and I am Karen Reynolds, and -- sorry. We are the owners of Mountain Vista Resort.
The first thing that we would like to clarify is that we were the victims that were in with him yesterday, and our housekeepers were not involved at all. He never saw them; they never saw him. The unit that he was in was a unit that we have been using for over three years as a long-term rental. And it has been unoccupied since January 29. And since that period of time, we have been trying to refurbish it and clean it up and working on it off and on between the busy winter season. So the last date that we were actually in there working was February 6.
JIM REYNOLDS, HELD HOSTAGE BY DORNER Wednesday.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes, that was Wednesday.
J. REYNOLDS: We were planning to go back Thursday. We were planning to go back Thursday and continue working, but that's when they found his truck and all the excitement.
K. REYNOLDS: And all that.
J. REYNOLDS: And so we just stayed in the house and did the go back.
K. REYNOLDS: The chaos. We were watching all of you and everyone, like that command center being set up and everything. So we didn't actually do any work that day.
FEMALE REPORTER: So would he have been here since that Thursday, and through that whole period of time, watching the command post, watching the press briefings?
K. REYNOLDS: He could have been, but we don't know for sure that he was. But -- and then the first time that we had gone in there since, because we had, you know, a heavy weekend and all the snow, was yesterday. And it was just Jim and I that had gone in there. And that's when we found he was in there, and that's when all of this had started.
MALE REPORTER: Did he steal your car?
MALE REPORTER: Wow. Tell us what happened.
J. REYNOLDS: Yes, he took our car.
MALE REPORTER: Took the car?
K. REYNOLDS: Yes, he did.
FEMALE REPORTER: What happened when he saw you?
K. REYNOLDS: Well, when we had come in, he was in the upstairs part, and that's where the living room is and one bedroom upstairs.
J. REYNOLDS: In the back.
K. REYNOLDS: And we had come into the living room, and he opened the door and came out at us. And he his gun drawn.
J. REYNOLDS: And he ran out. So he yelled "stay calm" and ran out.
MALE REPORTER: So you were not tied up?
J. REYNOLDS: Yes, we were.
K. REYNOLDS: Not at that point.
J. REYNOLDS: Not at that point. Just saw him.
FEMALE REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) it was two women.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes. Right. That has been wrong. It was the two of us.
FEMALE REPORTER: Did he come back in at all while you were there?
K. REYNOLDS: Well, he was in there with us. We didn't get away from him. And he spoke with us, tried to calm us down.
J. REYNOLDS: Yes, and we -- when he jumped out and hollered "Stay calm," Karen screamed and turner and started running, and he ran after her. And he caught her about the door...
K. REYNOLDS: On the staircase.
J. REYNOLDS: ... on the staircase and brought her back.
FEMALE REPORTER: It sounded like he tried to calm you down.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes, he did. He was talking to us.
J. REYNOLDS: You could see that big gun sticking up there.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes. He had his gun drawn the whole time.
J. REYNOLDS: He had the gun drawn, showing with the flag.
FEMALE REPORTER: Did you know it was him?
K. REYNOLDS: Yes, yes.
MALE REPORTER: Oh, yes.
MALE REPORTER: How long were you in there with him? How long?
J. REYNOLDS: About 15 minutes.
K. REYNOLDS: It felt a lot longer.
FEMALE REPORTER: Did he tie you up?
K. REYNOLDS: Yes. It felt a lot longer. He talked to us, tried to calm us down, and saying very frequently he would not kill us. And that's exactly how he had said that.
He told us about the man in the boat in San Diego.
J. REYNOLDS: Said he didn't kill him; he wasn't going to kill us. K. REYNOLDS: Yes. He turned to us, trying to calm us down, and said very frequently it was a means to the end with that man, and that's exactly how he had said that. He told us that, while the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) what he wants from us. He needs transportation out of Big Bear.
And he said -- he continued to say quite frequently he would not kill us. And he just us to do what he asked. And so he had bound our hands first while we were still in the living room...
J. REYNOLDS: He had some plastic ties, big, big wraps on and he made us put our hands behind our back and tied our hands. He made us get up and walk into the back bedroom bad there.
First he had us lay on the bad and cross our feet, then he had me lay on the floor and then he tied the hands real tight and cut my circulation off. And he did her, had her lay down, did the same thing.
Reporter: Did you think he was going to kill you then?
MALE REPORTER: Not you think he was going to kill you then?
J. REYNOLDS: When he had me laying on the ground, I thought he really did. I thought he changed his mind, he was just going to get us in there and was going to do it. But he -- once he got us down, then he went out to the bathroom real quick and came back with a couple of washcloths, stuck one in each of our mouths. Then he...
K. REYNOLDS: He went back into the living room.
J. REYNOLDS: Back in the living room again.
K. REYNOLDS: And he came back, like, with a cord and tied it...
J. REYNOLDS: Got a couple of extension cords.
K. REYNOLDS: Tied it around.
J. REYNOLDS: Put a pillow case around our head --
K. REYNOLDS: Over our head.
J. REYNOLDS: The cord through the mouth, went around the back and tied it real tight.
K. REYNOLDS: And he put pillowcases over our heads.
MALE REPORTER: Why are you talking with us now? What's the motivation?
J. REYNOLDS: Get the record set a little straight. There's a lot of misinformation out there.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes, a lot of misconception. We have people -- you know, we have guests who think that our place has burned down because the cabin that he has died in -- well, we think it's him but, you know, has burned down. All the things about it being -- the women were here and working but they were not involved at all with him.
FEMALE REPORTER: After he -- how do you think he got in? After he tied the pillow cases to your head, did he leave? What happened then, and when did you know it was safe to do something?
J. REYNOLDS: He went -- first he kneeled down beside me and said "You're going to be quiet, right? Don't make a noise. Don't try and get loose. Give me time?"
I said, "Oh, yes, sure."
K. REYNOLDS: Yes.
J. REYNOLDS: Then he left and he was back in probably 15 or 20 seconds. He wasn't gone very long. And he looked -- he looked at the car keys I gave him and said these aren't keys. It's just a security system. We had a keyless car.
He -- and trying to talk through the gag, trying to tell him how to start the car. And he's asking how to start the car and how to get it going. And then he left. We listened for probably a minute or two to make sure he was gone. It sounded quiet. So then we sort of started trying to get loose.
MALE REPORTER: Did he seem desperate, or did he seem...
J. REYNOLDS: He was very calm, very...
K. REYNOLDS: Methodical. Everything, like telling us what to do. Stayed with the...
FEMALE REPORTER: How do you think he got in? Did it appear he had been in several days?
K. REYNOLDS: I have no idea how he got in. There weren't any signs of it being broken into. But another thing he had talked to us about was that he said we are very hard workers; we're good people. He talked about how he could see Jim working on the snow every day.
J. REYNOLDS: He'd been watching us and saw me shoveling the snow. And that was Friday.
FEMALE REPORTER: Did at any time he talk to you about why he was doing what he was doing?
J. REYNOLDS: Yes. He wanted to come with me.
K. REYNOLDS: He had said, "I just want to hear my name."
J. REYNOLDS: He said, "I don't have a problem with you. I just want to clear my name.
MALE REPORTER: He was, like, extraordinary.
J. REYNOLDS: I don't think so.
K. REYNOLDS: No. I mean, we had walked in on him. But I don't think -- I don't know. I don't have any -- haven't heard any reason why he would have been watching us prior to his being there.
J. REYNOLDS: Well, I'm sure he was watching everything going on here.
K. REYNOLDS: I mean, it's up high, and you know, we work actually, from -- you've all seen where the union is. We worked into every one of our units from that. It's kind of like an alleyway.
MALE REPORTER: What kind of car did he take?
K. REYNOLDS: It was a 2011 Nissan...
J. REYNOLDS: Nissan.
K. REYNOLDS: Haven't really been told what's happened to it yet.
MALE REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
K. REYNOLDS: Yes. All day yesterday. And some today.
MALE REPORTER: So how did (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yourselves? You were able to get...
J. REYNOLDS: Didn't really. What we did is we kind of scooted down while I went up and grabbed the pillow case and pulled it off, trying to with the hands behind.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes. I reached up and got it off his head.
J. REYNOLDS: And then she got her gag off. And then we both worked on trying to stand up.
K. REYNOLDS: He scooted over towards the bedroom door that he closed. But he couldn't get up and couldn't reach -- I mean, we were really bound.
J. REYNOLDS: I couldn't get it open.
K. REYNOLDS: He couldn't get the doorknob. I was able to roll onto my knees and scoot over to the bed and actually get onto my feet. And -- and like kind of shuffled to where he was and got the door open.
FEMALE REPORTER: Did you have cell phone with you that you were able to call?
K. REYNOLDS: We had -- we had taken cell phones -- we had cell phones with us when we went in. We always have our cell phones when we're working out on the property. And -- but I actually thought my cell phone was still in my pocket when he had taken us into the bedroom, but while I was laying there I realized that it wasn't in my pocket. I mean, you know, like I could feel that it wasn't there.
And so I thought, like, while we were on the sofa, he had gotten it out of my coat pocket. So I -- we have an in-house phone, but I couldn't get that to work and I was just working from behind my back. And Jim scooted out into the hallway and told me he had actually hidden...
J. REYNOLDS: When he chased her down the stairs, I stuck my cell phone under the seat cushion of the couch, hoping we could get to it later.
K. REYNOLDS: But actually, I really couldn't figure out how could I get at the cushion and get the cell phone and work with it. But while I was trying to figure out how to do that, I actually looked on the coffee table, and he left my cell phone right on the coffee table, right there. And I sat down and was able to scoot around and work with it and call 911.
FEMALE REPORTER: At the moment that you realized -- at the moment that you realized that this was Christopher Dorner, what went through your mind?
J. REYNOLDS: Thought we were dead. I was scared.
K. REYNOLDS: Yes. I really thought it could be the end. I never even knew my reaction would be to run, but it was. I actually saw him quicker than him somehow and was...
J. REYNOLDS: I was walking behind her, so she was blocking my view. Until she turned and ran, I didn't see his face and then I saw him. And...
K. REYNOLDS: And we -- you know, we saw...
J. REYNOLDS: ... was passing him (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I couldn't get out.
K. REYNOLDS: We saw so many pictures of him. And actually while he talked to me he said, "I know you've been seeing the news. I know you know who I am." You know, and was explaining occurrences like the boat incident that had been covered.
FEMALE REPORTER: Did he talk to you about the officers he shot?
K. REYNOLDS: No.
(END LIVE FEED)
SESAY: Well, if you are just joining us, we've been listening to Jim and Karen Reynolds. They were the couple who were tied up in a cabin and held hostage by Christopher Dorner, speaking out for the first time tonight about their ordeal.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" will start shortly, but first we want to bring you the rest of the press conference.