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Dorner shooting justified: San Bernardino County D.A. report

The Christopher Dorner shooting was justified, according to the final report by the San Bernardino County D.A.'s Office.
February 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The Christopher Dorner shooting was justified, according to the final report by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. The findings come almost exactly one year after Dorner's death.

Fugitive ex-LAPD officer Dorner fatally shot himself in a burning cabin near Angelus Oaks during a firefight with law enforcement following an intense two-week manhunt in February 2013. Dorner went on a killing spree in response to what he considered his wrongful termination. He fatally shot the daughter of an LAPD officer-turned-attorney who defended him during his administrative review, in which he was fired. He also shot the daughter's fianc?. A Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino sheriff's deputy were also fatally shot by Dorner in the ensuing manhunt.

"Under the facts, circumstances and law applicable to this case, the use of deadly force and non-deadly force by law enforcement personnel was in response to an immediate threat of death and serious bodily injury to themselves and to members of the public posed by Christopher Dorner's actions, and was therefore legally justified under the laws of self-defense, defense of others, and laws of arrest," the report says.

According to the D.A.'s report, a total of 33 cops fired upon the cabin that day. But there was so much shooting, they say they have no idea how many rounds were fired.

"In my 12 years as district attorney, this is the biggest officer-involved shooting analysis we've ever had to do," said San Bernardino District Attorney Michael Ramos.

The report confirms that Dorner fatally shot himself, and that he wasn't killed by the fire that was started when pyrotechnic canisters were thrown into the cabin.

"They wanted him alive, they to remove him alive. And they used every step, every mitigating step to get to that point," said Ramos. "At the same time they were being fired upon. Their lives were in danger and I'll tell you, I couldn't be prouder of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department."

People have been stopping by to take a look at the burned-out cabin where Dorner died, including Rick Heltebrake, the guy who was carjacked by Christopher Dorner not long before the shootout.

"You know, to be honest, I have tried to put this thing behind me," said Heltebrake.

Heltebrake never did get any of the reward money.

But on the same day that the San Bernardino County D.A.'s Office released a 59-page report that says all of the officers who fired at the cabin that day were justified in their actions, Heltebrake hopes it vindicates him in some way.

"I was made out to be a bad guy, it seemed like, in a lot of circles. The bottom line is, I made a call to a deputy when I was carjacked. That deputy is the one who located Dorner. Those are two facts you can't change," said Heltebrake.


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