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Christopher Dorner's final hours: Just-released dispatch logs offer new details

Christopher Dorner Big Bear Manhunt

Courtesy KTLA

A screenshot showing a cabin on fire near Big Bear where police surrounded a man they believe to be murder suspect Christopher Dorner following two gun battles on Feb. 12, 2013. A deputy was killed in one of the battles.

San Bernardino County on Friday released dispatch logs from Feb. 12 — the day fugitive suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner was discovered in the Big Bear area and met his end in a burning cabin — and they provide a dramatic, minute-by-minute account of the massive operation by multiple Southern California agencies dispatched to spots all over the mountain and beyond.

Among the moments captured in the dispatch logs (embedded in full below):

  • An armored BearCat is brought in by the Ontario Police Department to help deploy hot gas canisters into the cabin where Dorner was holed up
  • 25 LAPD SWAT team members (who were apparently not used) waiting at the Big Bear airport.
  • Deputies dispatched to transport a man left stranded after Dorner car-jacked his truck
  • Fontana detectives sent to a hospital in Loma Linda—the one housing the two San Bernardino deputies who were shot by Dorner—to handle media and crowd control.

The events as they unfolded

The log starts at 12:22 p.m. with a call to 911 from a couple that had been tied up and held captive by Dorner in their Big Bear cabin. Within five minutes, deputies had been dispatched to the cabin and an alert had gone out to law enforcement officers that the couple's Nissan Rogue had been taken. 

Within a half-hour, the CHP and police in Redlands and San Bernardino had been alerted, and officers began closing down the highways leading in and out of Big Bear.

RELATED: LAPD manhunt: The search for alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner

Then events begin moving even faster: Officers find the Nissan; there’s a sniper rifle inside; they turn their attention to a white pickup truck; there’s a call for a police dog, presumably to track Dorner; officers report Dorner may have smoke canisters. 

An hour into the log comes the first mention of Seven Oaks Cabin, the place where Dorner eventually died. Then, in quick succession: “shots” and “returning fire." Five minutes later: “automatic fire inbound.” Then: “need armored vehicle to get personnel out," and “deputies still down in the kill zone."

Along the way, dispatch tracks calls from the community: Schools wondering if they should evacuate; a nervous neighbor standing on his stoop with a gun; and a gun collector offering his sizable arsenal of firearms to police, if they need it.

At about 3:30 p.m. — roughly three hours after the initial 911 call — the log begins to chronicle the work by the BearCat — an armored law enforcement personnel carrier — as it begins to tear into the cabin. One entry says “heavy blood spatter on wall inside” – but deputies later conclude that the spatter came from smoke canisters. 

Half an hour later, the log talks about “green smoke” inside the cabin, apparently set off by Dorner. And at 4:10: “deploying gas burner," of which seven total were eventually deployed, apparently also causing the fire that eventually burnt down the cabin.

At 4:20: “One shot fired from inside” — presumably the shot Dorner fired himself to commit suicide. That message is repeated two minutes later as the cabin burns. 

The log lists messages about ammo going off in the fire and a request to make sure a propane tank is away from the fire . 

After that, the cabin burns, and the log reflects law enforcement chatter about reopening roads and towing away vehicles. 

Dispatch Logs Dorner

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