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Chris Dorner autopsy: Cause of death was single gunshot wound to head, appears self-inflicted

This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles officer. (Los Angeles Police Department)
February 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An autopsy performed on Chris Dorner revealed he died from a single gunshot wound to his head, which appeared self-inflicted, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon announced Friday.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department gave updates on the case at 4 p.m. press conference. McMahon said the Riverside County Coroner conducted the autopsy. Sgt. Trevis Newport said Dorner's remains were found in the basement-area of the cabin.

Authorities also displayed an array of weapons similar to those said to have been recovered from some of the scenes and vehicles occupied by Dorner, including assault rifles, hand guns, magazines and smoke canisters. A .308 caliber bolt-action rifle with a sniper scope and the word "vengance" written across it was the only item on display that was actually recovered from Dorner's vehicle, according to Newport.

McMahon also said he stood by his initial statement that authorities did not intentionally burn down the cabin that was the stage for Dorner's final stand.

No mention was made at the press conference about who would receive the $1 million reward offered for Dorner's capture and conviction. However the LAPD released a statement Friday afternoon reminding the public that the reward cannot be distributed until the investigation is complete. The statement also said that the more than 20 jurisdictions and entities involved in the reward will have to come together to decide which person or people qualify to receive the money.

"Our personal hope is that the reward will be distributed, but we must follow the rules and respect the procedures of each entity," the statement said.

Thursday, the charred remains found in a burned out mountain cabin in Angelus Oaks were positively identified as Dorner. Authorities say a dental examination verified the results.

Officials had reported Dorner's drivers license and other personal belongings were found inside the cabin but the remains were not confirmed to be Dorner's until a dental examination was completed.

The positive identification prompted the LAPD to finally remove the security details that had been assigned to the people named by Dorner in his online manifesto.

While Dorner's death may bring some closure to the horrific ordeal many in the law enforcement family have had to deal with, officials say the effect his rampage has had in the community will be felt for a long time.

Officials say it may take time for those traumatized to get back to normal.

"What really bothers so many people is that an individual becomes a member of law enforcement, a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, and takes that oath to protect and to serve, and betrays the people that have entrusted their safety in him, that is crossing the line that people don't cross," said Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine.

At the news conference Friday, authorities are set to announce service arrangements for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay, who was killed in a shootout with Dorner.

Eyewitness News has also learned that there will be a joint service for Monica Quan and her fianc? Keith Lawrence on Feb. 24. The two were found dead in a car in Irvine on Feb. 3. Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain who represented Dorner during the disciplinary hearing that ended his career.

The service will be held at Concordia University's gymnasium. Sources anticipate the service will be held in the afternoon. No confirmed time has been released.


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