Slain officer's widow thanks mourners: "A lot of people loved Mike"
Villaraigosa says police have a "reasonable belief" that Dorner died in a mountain standoff
Authorities have not conclusively identified the body found near Big Bear Lake
Authorities said Wednesday they are reasonably sure that the body found inside the burned cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, is that of Christopher Dorner, the rogue ex-cop who had been pursuing a vendetta against his fellow officers.
“We believe that this investigation is over, at this point, and we’ll just need to move on from here,” San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.
Although the description and behavior of the man who was killed are consistent with Dorner, officials “cannot absolutely, positively confirm it was him,” McMahon said.
“We’re not currently involved in a manhunt,” he said. “Our coroner’s division is trying to confirm the identity through forensics.”
Authorities say Dorner launched a guerrilla war against the Los Angeles Police Department over what he considered his unfair dismissal in 2009.
McMahon identified a sheriff’s detective who was fatally shot Tuesday by the man presumed to have been Dorner as Jeremiah MacKay. MacKay, 35, was a 15-year veteran who was married with two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
Another officer has undergone “a couple of different surgeries” after being wounded in the shootout. “He’s in good spirits and should make a full recovery after a number of additional surgeries,” McMahon said.
The two men were ambushed Tuesday when they responded to a report of a vehicle stolen by a suspect matching Dorner’s description, McMahon said.
“It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go into that area and tried to neutralize and stop the threat,” McMahon said. “The rounds kept coming, but our deputies didn’t give up.”
The suspect then fled into a nearby vacant cabin, which caught fire after police shot tear gas canisters into it, McMahon said.
Although the canisters included pyrotechnic tear gas, which generates heat, “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” McMahon said.
It wasn’t clear when a formal identification could be made of the charred remains found in the cabin about 100 miles east of Los Angeles after Tuesday’s shootout with police. Until then, “a lot of apprehension” remains in the ranks of the LAPD, Lt. Andy Neiman said.
‘A very trying time’ for the LAPD
“It’s 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 incident,” he said.
On Wednesday, police from around the Los Angeles area and beyond gathered to bury Michael Crain, who was among the four people fatally shot, allegedly by the 33-year-old former Navy officer.
Dorner also killed the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance and shot three other officers, including Crain’s partner, police say.
A squad of bagpipers led Crain’s flag-draped casket through a cordon of blue uniforms into a church in Riverside, the Los Angeles suburb where the 34-year-old police officer had served 11 years on the force.
The mourners inside the church included California Gov. Jerry Brown, his Highway Patrol chief and law enforcement from a number of other agencies around the region.
“I knew that communities would reach out, and I knew a lot of people loved Mike,” Regina Crain, the slain officer’s widow, told them. “And I knew that I would have support no matter what. But I really did not realize the sheer scale of this, and how many people are touched by his life. It gives me really great comfort to see that, and I want to thank you all.”
Investigators began scouring the mountains February 7, when investigators found Dorner’s scorched pickup. Police, sheriff’s deputies and federal agents swarmed into the area, working through a weekend blizzard, but the trail was cold for days.
On Sunday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it had scaled back the search. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s arrest and conviction, spurring hundreds of tips.
The trail picked up again on Tuesday, when Karen and Jim Reynolds came upon a man who looked like Dorner in their house across the street from the sheriff’s command center in the Big Bear area. He tied them up and took off in their purple Nissan, according to police.
The unit had been unoccupied since January 29 and they had last done some work on it on February 6, Karen Reynolds told reporters.
They returned on Tuesday to continue working on the apartment, she said. “We had come into the living room and he opened the door and came out at us,” she said.
“He yelled, ‘Stay calm,’” Jim Reynolds said. “When he jumped out and hollered, ‘Stay calm!’ Karen screamed and turned and started running and he ran after her and he caught her on the staircase and brought her back.”
Dorner tried to calm them, the couple said. “He had his gun drawn the whole time,” Karen Reynolds said.
He ordered them to lie down and bound their hands behind their backs with plastic ties, telling them he would not kill them, but needed transportation out of Big Bear, they said.
He then gagged them, put pillowcases on their heads and left, they said.
Throughout, he was calm, they said.
“He said I don’t have a problem with you, I just want