Christopher Dorner Manhunt Over, Sheriff Says in Televised Press Conference
"It was like a war zone," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon tells reporters of Tuesday's shootout, all but confirming the fugitive ex-cop is dead.
CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC all interrupted their regularly scheduled programming Wednesday to show live coverage of the press conference on the Christopher Dorner investigation.
Law enforcement officials declined to confirm that Dorner is dead, saying the investigation is in the preliminary stages and ongoing, but did say they are no longer searching for him.
"We cannot positively confirm it's him," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters, adding that law enforcement officials' description of the person inside the now-burned-down cabin in the Big Bear Mountains area where Wednesday's shootout took place did match Dorner.
But, he added, "We are not currently involved in a manhunt any longer. We are trying to confirm [the remains are Dorner's] through forensics and should know soon."
McMahon praised the sheriff's deputies involved in Tuesday's shootout.
"There were rounds being fired; it was absolutely incredible; it was like a war zone," McMahon said. "And our deputies continued to go in and try to neutralize and stop the threat. Rounds kept coming, but the deputies didn't give up. They are true heroes."
He added that authorities did not intentionally burn down the cabin, but they took several steps to flush out the person inside, believed to be Dorner, including tear gas culminating with the use of a pyrotechnic canister that "does generate a lot of heat."
McMahon also identified the sheriff's deputies who were struck by gunfire during the incident:
-- Jeremiah MacKay, 35, was fatally shot and pronounced dead at 2:24 p.m. Tuesday. A member of the department for 15 years, he was married with a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son. "Our sincere condolences go out to the MacKay family," McMahon said.
-- Alex Collins was "severely injured" and underwent a couple of surgeries. According to what his wife told McMahon, he is "in good spirits and should make a full recovery."