Police tactics questioned in fiery siege on Dorner's hideout - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Police tactics questioned in fiery siege on Dorner's hideout

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ANGELUS OAKS (CBS 8) – Just one day after the manhunt for suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner came to a fiery end, new questions are surfacing over the police tactics used during the siege on his cabin hideout.

In a news conference Wednesday, San Bernardino Sheriff's deputies denied intentionally burning down the cabin where Dorner was believed to be holed up in the mountain town of Angelus Oaks. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said deputies were not trying to create a raging inferno as they tried to get Dorner to surrender.

Audio on the ground from KCBS reporter Carter Evans mentioned a smoke grenade and then in the chaos an unidentified voice is heard yelling, "Burn that god *** down."

Real time police audio transmissions at Big Bear Lake were preserved and the second guessing started immediately. 

After authorities concluded they had cornered a suspect in the cabin in the woods, it sounded to some as if law enforcement could have intentionally set fire to it to try to smoke out the ex-LAPD officer.

Officers on the scanner can be heard saying, "We're going to go forward with the plan with the burn ... Copy."

Then later, "Control 61 Lincoln. Seven burners deployed and we have a fire. Copy - seven burners deployed and we have a fire."

The term "burners" was once used as slang for tear gas canisters, though police generally no longer use gas that can catch fire.

The final word could come from an autopsy. A medical examiner has a pretty good chance of determining whether fire killed the suspect or if he killed himself to avoid being taken alive.


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