SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said the manhunt for Christopher Dorner is over.
At a Wednesday afternoon press conference, McMahon said the Sheriff’s Department was closing its investigation.
While McMahon stopped short of saying Dorner was dead with 100% certainty, he said they were pretty sure they got the right man. “I cannot absolutely, positively confirm it is him. The suspect that we were following, and who also had stolen the vehicle, matched his description. His behavior, based on our deputies interaction with him inside the vacant cabin, was consistent with Mr. Dorner’s activity prior to. We are not currently involved in a manhunt any longer.”
At the press conference, McMahon also named the deputy who was killed and another who was seriously wounded in Tuesday’s shootout with a man believed to be Dorner.
Jeremiah MacKay, 35, was shot and killed. The 15-year veteran of the department was reportedly shot multiple times. He died at Loma Linda University Medical Center. MacKay leaves behind his wife and two young children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
McMahon said, “This is truly another sad day for law enforcement. Our department is grieving from this event. It’s just a terrible deal for all of us.”
McMahon identified the deputy who was seriously wounded as Alexander Collins. He is expected to recover but will reportedly need several more surgeries.
MacKay was interviewed by The Associated Press last Saturday while helping search for Dorner. “Everyone is here for the safety of everyone,” MacKay said, “for the safety of each other, for the safety of you.”
McMahon also denied that sheriff’s intentionally set the fire that burned the cabin to the ground. He said they used two types of gas and the first one didn’t have the desired result. The second gas used had pyrotechnics and while a fire started it wasn’t done on purpose. “We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out,” said McMahon.
The sheriff commended his men and women for going above and beyond during Tuesday’s gun battle. “There were rounds being fired — as you saw on some of the news coverage — that was absolutely incredible. It was like a war zone. And our deputies continued to go in into that area and try to neutralize and stop the threat. The rounds kept coming. But the deputies didn’t give up.”
CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Kristine Lazar asked LAPD Chief Charlie Beck if he believed Dorner was no longer a threat. Beck did not want to appear on camera, but he told Lazar, “I am relatively confident that he is no longer a threat.” Beck, however, did add that he wanted official confirmation from the coroner.