Dorner’s autopsy report confirms suicide as cabin burned above him


Trapped and surrounded in a cabin in Big Bear at the end of an exhaustive and violent manhunt, ex-Los Angeles Police Officer Christopher Dorner shot himself in the basement as the building burned above him, an autopsy report confirmed Friday.

Dorner was on the run for more than a week, during which he killed four people, including two on-duty law enforcement officers, and wounded several others.

The gist of the autopsy report -- issued roughly 18 months after the bloody manhunt ended in bullets, explosions and flames -- had already been widely reported, but it did offer some new details.


Dorner, 33, used a 9mm handgun to shoot himself once in the head on the afternoon of Feb. 12, 2013, as the wood cabin above him became engulfed in flames.

A Riverside County medical examiner had to use dental records and Dorner’s dental retainer to confirm his identity because his body was so badly burned. Dorner’s arms below the elbow and right foot had been burned off, the report stated.

According to the coroner’s investigative report, Dorner had $150 in cash, a folding knife, a lighter, his LAPD and military IDs and driver’s license on him when he died. He also had a fake police badge and a business card with the names of two LAPD police captains who oversaw his Board of Rights hearing with their addresses and names of their wives written on it.

He was also wearing tan camouflage pants and had a white necklace with a handcuff key attached, according to the report.

The showdown at the cabin brought an end to a massive, 10-day manhunt that was sparked after he killed an LAPD captain’s daughter and her fiance on Feb. 3 and posted an online manifesto stating he intended to hunt down police officers.

Dorner avoided detection for days in a condominium as hundreds of law enforcement personnel scoured the region. He eventually tried to escape the Big Bear area in a stolen car but was spotted, prompting him to hole up in the vacant cabin.


During the tense hours-long stand-off, he unleashed a barrage of gunfire on officers who had surrounded the building. In response, authorities volleyed pyrotechnic gas inside, sparking a fire. As flames engulfed the cabin, Dorner turned his gun on himself.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.