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Sheriff Praises Deputies' Work During Search, Final Showdown with Dorner

'They ran into the line of fire,' Sheriff John McMahon said. 'They were being shot at and didn't turn around and retreat.'

At a news conference Friday, the sheriff of San Bernardino County praised his deputies' actions during the final hours of the Christopher Dorner manhunt, and he focused in part on their searches of a Big Bear condo complex where the accused murder fugitive apparently hid for several days under the nose of law enforcement.

"The bottom line is the deputy sheriffs of this department and the law enforcement officers from the surrounding area did an outstanding job," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. "They ran into the line of fire. They were being shot at and didn't turn around and retreat.

"They each upheld the oath that they swore when they earned their badge, and Christopher Dorner's reign of terror is over," McMahon said.

"Christopher Dorner's actions became personal to the residents of this county last Thursday when he parked his vehicle and lit it on fire on a forestry road near Bear Mountain Ski Resort.

"He then fled that vehicle and we assembled a search team and we looked throughout that entire area, around the resort, as well as Moonridge, to try to find Christopher Dorner," McMahon said.

"The condo owned by the Reynolds family and that complex was searched by our deputy sheriffs on Thursday evening. They checked that door and it was in fact locked. We later discovered through investigation that the Reynolds left the door unlocked so that a maintenance man could come in and check the residence and work on it.

"It appears at that point that Christopher Dorner had already entered the residence and locked the door behind him," McMahon said. "Our deputies knocked on that door and did not get an answer, and in hindsight it's probably a good thing he did not answer based on his actions before and after that event.

"When the Reynolds family returned to their condo they thought it was odd that the door was locked, but they went in, assuming that maybe the maintenance man had locked the door.

"When they went into that residence they were confronted by Christopher Dorner, who tied them up," McMahon said. "The Reynolds family were heroes and they were able to get out and call us as soon as they possibly could and report that their vehicle had been stolen and give us a description, and that it was stolen by Christopher Dorner, or what they believed was Christopher Dorner, matching the description.

"Our deputies began looking throughout the Big Bear area for that vehicle," McMahon said. "Information was received that there may be a vehicle similar in color and description southbound on Highway 38.

"Our deputies continued moving that direction and then deputies from the valley area started traveling up, or north, on Highway 38. We then received a call from the victim of the vehicle that was carjacked on Glass Road.

"He explained to us that his vehicle had been carjacked by Christopher Dorner," McMahon said. "Our deputies arrived in that area of Glass Road, ultimately found the vehicle, and the cabin. Our deputies stopped in front of that cabin, not knowing that Christopher Dorner was inside.

"They were formulating a plan on how to look for him, notice shoe prints in the snow leading towards that cabin. Before our deputies could finalize a plan, they were ambushed by Christopher Dorner. He began firing at them. Both our officers went down.

"Responding officers arrived and actually went through a hail of gunfire to rescue these two injured deputy sheriffs. At that point the SWAT team started to arrive at that location."

The morning of Saturday Feb. 16, workers were putting up fence around the burned husk of the cabin on Seven Oaks Road where Dorner's charred remains were located after an intense gun battle with deputies, who eventually used pyrotechnic gas that set the cabin afire.

San Bernardino County sheriff's officials called the move a last resort to get Dorner to surrender. For a report on the full news conference, click here.

Authorities believe Dorner, who was fired by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009, is accountable for four killings in the space of ten days: a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiancé in Irvine on Feb. 3, Riverside police Officer Michael Crain on Feb. 7, and San Bernardino County sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay on Feb. 12.

Crain was a Redlands High School graduate who attended Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, and a Beaumont resident. MacKay worked in the Big Bear area and Yucaipa, and he was a resident of Redlands. Both men leave behind wives and young children.

Related News:

  • DORNER'S LAST STAND: Fugitive Kept Trying to Shoot More Deputies at Cabin
  • DORNER INVESTIGATION: Gunshot Wound to Head Appears Self-Inflicted
  • DORNER IS DEAD: Confirmed ID of Charred Remains Made in Autopsy
  • REDLANDS MOURNS: Slain Detective is Second Local Victim Tied to Dorner
  • VIDEO: Thousands Mourn Loss of Slain Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain
  • MANHUNT SHOOTOUT: Angelus Oaks Family Recalls Massive Response on 38
  • DORNER MANHUNT: Mountain Search for Alleged Cop-Killer to Go Thru Night
  • Murder Charges Filed Against Chris Dorner in Redlands High Grad's Death
  • Funeral Service Information for Slain Riverside Police Officer Mike Crain
  • $1 Million Reward Offered For Dorner's Capture
  • LAPD Chief Beck's Full Statement on Reviewing Dorner's Termination Case
  • MANHUNT: Search For Rogue Former Cop Continues
  • DORNER MANHUNT: Armed Deputies Vigilant on Snowbound Mountain Roads
  • Winter Storm Warning for Mountains Where Dorner Search is Under Way
  • DORNER MANIFESTO: Rogue Officer Posted His Plan for 'Last Resort' Online

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