A body believed to be that of fugitive ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner was found on Tuesday in a charred cabin in Big Bear, Calif., the Los Angeles Times
reported, but the alleged cop killer's supporters aren’t buying it.
The body has not been positively identified, but authorities said they assumed it was Dorner, the 33-year-old former policeman who is suspected of a revenge-fueled killing spree targeted at police officers and their families. Dorner reportedly retreated into the mountainside cabin after a fierce firefight with police on Tuesday in which a deputy was killed
, who have claimed on social media he is a wronged man carrying out some sort of vigilante justice, voiced their support for him Tuesday as the scene in southern California played out.
As reports swirled that the LAPD had yet to identify the body that was discovered, the #TeamDorner cheerleaders waved their virtual pom-poms.
Law enforcement officers had crisscrossed California for more than a week on a massive manhunt for Dorner, who was wanted in the double murder of the daughter of a former police captain and her fiancé, as well the shootings last week of police officers, one fatally
. He was reportedly last seen a week ago, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Sunday announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's arrest.
The situation escalated Tuesday when Dorner reportedly broke into a Big Bear home, tied up a couple, held them hostage, and then stole a silver pickup truck, according to The Times. Fish and Wildlife officers spotted him, prompting a vehicle-to-vehicle shootout before Dorner crashed the truck and escaped into another cabin.
Dorner exited the back of the cabin, deployed a smoke bomb, and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee, but was driven back inside the cabin. One sheriff's deputy was killed and another wounded in the exchange, the Times said.
As police fired tear gas into the cabin and broke down windows in an effort to get to Dorner, they reportedly heard a single gunshot before flames began to spread. The unidentified body was recovered late Tuesday from the burned-out structure.
Dorner's reign of terror apparently stems from his 2009 dismissal from the police force for making false statements against a fellow officer who he said had committed police brutality. In an online manifesto, Dorner vented about how he was a victim of racism, and promised to wage "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" on the LAPD
"You will now live the life of the prey," he wrote.
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