Reuters | 02/16/2013 9:41 AM
|Police handout photo of Christopher Dorner. REUTERS|
SAN BERNARDINO - A fugitive former police officer whose charred remains were found in a burned-out California mountain cabin following a standoff with police died from a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokesman said on Friday.
An autopsy determined that Christopher Dorner, 33, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Captain Kevin Lacy told a news conference.
Lacy said authorities had not yet determined who fired that single round. But, he said: "The information we have seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner's life was self inflicted."
Dorner, who also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy reserves, was accused of killing four people since Feb. 3, including a sheriff's deputy shot during the gun battle on Tuesday in the San Bernardino Mountains.
An angry manifesto found posted last week on Dorner's Facebook page claimed he had been wrongly terminated from the Los Angeles Police Department and vowed to seek revenge by unleashing "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" on police officers and their families.
He had been on the run since last Wednesday, when he was named as the prime suspect in the slayings of a couple, including the daughter of a retired Los Angeles police captain, in Irvine, south of Los Angeles.
The ensuing manhunt involved more than 1,000 officers from over a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and stretched from the Mexican border to the California desert north of the San Bernardinos.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck called it the largest in the region's history.