A police scanner audio recording has emerged that is being held up by some observers as proof that on Tuesday cops deliberately set fire to the Big Bear, Calif., cabin that is believed to have been the final resting place of ex-LAPD officer and shooting rampage suspect Christopher Dorner.
Press play below to listen to a lengthy clip of police radio audio recorded during the Tuesday standoff, as provided by Archive.org. The pertinent part that seems to suggest that the cabin fire that likely killed Dorner on Tuesday was intentionally started by law enforcement officers begins at about the 25:00 mark:
On Wednesday, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon denied the claims, saying that his deputies shot pyrotechnic tear gas into the cabin, and that it then burst into flames, but that they did not intentionally set it on fire, according to the Associated Press.
But some of the comments made during the recording seem to provide strong evidence that the police purposely planned, started and orchestrated the cabin fire. Here are a few relevant statements that were made by participants in the police scanner conversation:
"Seven burners deployed, and we have a fire."
"Fire will be staged at the first contact with the first armored unit down there."
"I'm told that there's basement in the cabin. So as a precaution, since the fire's self-containing itself I'm going to let that heat burn through that basement."
"You guys with eyes on the back: If you, uh, see something that's catching fire that's not supposed to be, then let me know. But otherwise, let it go."
"We've got, uh, good penetration with the fire at 2-3 corner. It's still doing quite well, self-containing itself. I'm gonna let it go."
A lengthy list of excerpted statements made during the police radio recording is included at the end of this article.
Judging from the recorded comments, it appears clear that authorities purposely set the cabin on fire, and that they made sure that it tore through all sections of the house before putting it out.
And police have confirmed that the remains of a person were found inside the cabin after the fire was extinguished.
"Investigators have located charred human remains within the debris of the burned out cabin,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said Tuesday night. Police added that forensic investigators began working Wednesday to identify whose remains were found there.
And on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that "an official briefed on the investigation" said that Dorner's California driver's license had been found with the body inside the cabin, adding more evidence that he died there.
Despite the mounting evidence that Dorner, 33, was killed in the cabin fire on Tuesday, a local CBS affiliate reports that the security detail assigned to protect at least 12 of the 50 Los Angeles police officers threatened by Dorner in a rambling manifesto posted on his Facebook wall will continue to do so.
“Until Mr. Dorner has been identified as either deceased or he has handcuffs on him and he’s sitting in a jail, we’re gonna continue as though he’s still out there,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, according to the CBS affiliate.
The manhunt for Dorner began last week and went cold for six days until Tuesday, when a woman reportedly held hostage by the military veteran escaped and called the police.
California Fish and Game officers then reportedly saw Dorner and engaged him in a firefight before he "fled into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin," authorities told CBS.
A furious shootout ensued between the suspect and law enforcement authorities, during which two San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were shot, one of whom died.
A fire broke out at the cabin a couple of hours later, but police have not yet confirmed what started it. And, as mentioned before, human remains were recovered from the burned-out building, but they have not yet been positively identified.
Below is a chronological list of excerpts from the transcript of the audio recording in question, as compiled by Archive.org:
26:22 Seven burners deployed, and we have a fire.
27:05 Guys, be ready on the #4 side. We have fire in the front and he might come out the back.
27:20 On the four side, remember your backdrops.
28:30 The one side's fully engulfed; fire on the four.
28:16 10-4, engulfed
29:33 Contact fire to staging, have them bring an engine down here.
30:44 14, 10-5-0
30:56 Control, 61 Lincoln, sounds like one shot fired from inside the residence.
31:00 Copy: One shot fired from inside the residence. Confirm you still want fire to roll in?
31:04 Roll in at stage.
31:17 Copy. They're staged at [inaudible] and 38.
31:14 Fire will be staged at the first contact with the first armored unit down there.
31:26 61 Lincoln to all perimeter units: Stand by, maintain your discipline
31:51 12-61 Lincoln, 1-2 corner fully engulfed
31:55 Copy, 1-2 corner fully engulfed.
32:46 61 Lincoln, we have ammo exploding inside
32:52 Copy, ammo exploding inside.
36:09 [inaudible] Status check?
36:14 I'm code four. I'm on the four side. Over.
36:18 Copy. Do we have, uh, do we have fire back there yet?
36:24 [inaudible] I'm on the number four side, fully engulfed
36:34 [inaudible] Two and four side fully engulfed. Fire moving to three now.
36:37 Copy, number two and four fully engulfed.
38:36 [inaudible] Is there any propane cylinders or anything back there we need to be aware of?
38:47 No, not that I can see from my position
38:52 Copy. Thanks. Break. Guys on the #3 side: Any propane tanks visible?
39:02 [inaudible] We [inaudible] propane tanks on the backside
39:33 62-10-1 to control, confirming that fire's been notified to come down this way?
39:39 Fire was staging just a [inaudible]
39:57 Do you need them closer?
40:16 61-Lincoln, 61-Charlie.
40:20 Go ahead, [inaudible].
40:21 Do we want to have, uh, fire start putting water on it once the roof starts to settle down a bit, and, uh, like it's starting to collapse?
40:29 Affirm, uh, gimme me some time, here. We're not quite there. We still have the, uh, 2-3 corner, there, that's still vulnerable.
40:37 10-4, We're just bringing fire in about 200 yards out. Your call.
40:47 Go, Tim.
41:04 [inaudible] Is there still a lot of room on the 3-4 corner that's not engulfed yet?
41:11 Copy, thanks Tim. 3-4 corner, there's a lot of room left. I copy.
42:45 Control 61-Lincoln. We still have ammo going off in the fire.
42:49 61-Lincoln: copy.
46:22 [inaudible] Get everybody over here.
46:47 [inaudible] your status?
46:53 61-Lincoln [inaudible]
46:57 We just had open mike, it sounded like some time of commotion. Just checking your status.
47:33 [inaudible] Monroe
47:39 John, uh, how's that fire doing on the back west side?
47:43 It's taking its dear sweet time to get there. This thing's well-constructed. Uh, we don't even have any roof uh [inaudible] not ready for those reasons and I still have ammo popping here.
48:02 Break. 61-Lincoln, 61-Charlie. You ready for fire?
48:08 61-Lincoln, 61-Charlie: That's negative. I still don't have adequate penetration on the 2-3 or the 3-4, and I still live ammo popping.
48:29 Lights off, please.
49:07 [inaudible] no way
49:09 Open mike.
49:27 61-Charlie, 61-Lincoln: [inaudible] from your vantage point, you can see how it's, uh, containing itself quite well. Can you see that I don't have adequate penetration on the 2-3 yet?
49:39 Yeah, I don't see that, uh, corner yet. I'm leaving it to your call, John.
49:42 Copy that.
50:14 [inaudible] Monroe
50:20 Go ahead, Jeff.
50:25 We got the, uh, Dodge truck [inaudible] slide down the hill. Did you want that cleared?
50:35 Let's, uh, hold until we start mop-up with fire.
50:42 I want to hold the permiter until, uh, 61-Lincoln makes the call.
51:42 [inaudible] relay there's [inaudible] fire [inaudible] 3-4 corner
51:48 Fire on the 3-4 corner?
51:54 Yeah, that's [inaudible]
51:58 61-Lincoln, the fire is [inaudible] I'm still not ready for fire, um. Fire is moving [inaudible]... but we still have a lot of smoldering. So just stand by.
53:05 [inaudible] How we doing back there?
53:13 Uh, [inaudible] the, uh, 1-4 corner.
53:22 [inaudible] down to the 3-4?
53:32 I can drive around that way if you want me to.
52:49 Last traffic was unreadable at [inaudible]
53:56 Copy [inaudible]
53:58 Fully engulfed.
54:01 [inaudible] copy. 3-4 is fully-engulfed.
54:10 [inaudible] Luke?
54:14 More ammo going off.
54:16 Copy, more ammo going off.
54:25 Hey, John, if these, uh, cabins have [inaudible] areas? Something to consider.
54:33 Affirmative, I'm told that there's basement in the cabin. So as a precaution, since the fire's self-containing itself I'm going to let that heat burn through that basement.
54:43 [inaudible] good call.
55:22 Lincoln [inaudible]
55:32 Battalion 1-31
55:50 Battalion 1-31, if you didn't copy, we're not ready for you yet. We've got live ammo going off.
56:00 Yeah, I did copy that. I just wanted to give some information, that, uh. [inaudible] I have a fire seargent that was raised in that building and uh he's familiar with [inaudible] suspect [inaudible]
56:21 61-Lincoln, did you copy that?
56:22 Negative [inaudible]
56:23 Batallion chief is advising there was a firefighter raised in that residence and he's advising the basement is 12 by 15.
56:33 The ceiling of the basement or the floor is wood or concrete?
56:48 10-5 Is the basement floor or ceiling wood or concrete?
56:57 Batallion chief, can you advise? If the basement floor or ceiling is wood or concrete?
57:29 Control 61-Lincoln. Did they advise?
57:30 They're advising on another channel, and that's affirmed, the ceiling of the basement is wood.
57:43 Control 61-Charlie. Which end of the house is the basement at? North, south, east, west?
59:01 61-Lincoln, were you able to ascertain which end of the house that basement is in?
59:06 One of our deputies is checking with him now. I'm just waiting for the answer.
59:16 61-Lincoln, they're advising the west side.
59:21 That's the side that's not, uh, been penetrated by fire yet. Thank you.
00:41 61-Charlie, 61-Lincoln. The fire is doing quite well. [inaudible] penetrated the 2-3 or 3-4, where that basement is supposedly located.
01:03 John, standing by for your, uh, request for Fire, whenever you're ready.
01:07 Okay, thank you.
01:36 [inaudible] go for dinner
01:45 [inaudible] basement on the 3-4 corner. Still smoke coming out of that window.
01:51 You guys with eyes on the back: If you, uh, see something that's catching fire that's not supposed to be, then let me know. But otherwise, let it go.
02:05 Control, 61-Charlie
02:09 Whoever's talking to that firefighter who's familiar with this house: Can you also ask him if there'd be any, uh, reason for ammunition to have been in the cabin other than from the suspect?
02:23 That's affirm. Will check.
02:50 61-Lincoln, we have, uh, green smoke or gas that just blew out of the burning structure deployed.
03:03 Copy. More smoke, gas, uh, deployed by suspect?
03:09 Uh, either it blew out of front or it was thrown out.
03:26 61-Charlie That firefighter RP hasn't been in the residence in years, and he doesn't know.
03:33 10-4, thank you.
04:33 61-Lincoln, We've got, uh, good penetration with the fire at 2-3 corner. It's still doing quite well, self-containing itself. I'm gonna let it go.
04:48 The fire is self-contained, good penetration 2-3 corner.
05:38 Go ahead.
05:39 We're getting information on 60 police band that there is a propane tank at the rear of the residence near the garage.
05:50 Copy. That's gonna be quite a ways from the fire. Should be code four.
05:58 Go, Tim.
06:03 You're 10-1. Try again.
06:05 [inaudible] propane tank [inaudible]
06:10 Copy that.
06:44 61-Lincoln. Just info, we're gonna get on 21 with that batallion chief.
06:50 Just know the, uh, floor on the number 1-2 corner, which is the east side has collapsed. I don't know if that's where the basement is at, or [inaudible]
07:54 61-Lincoln, 61-Sam wants to know how many feet the fire is away from the propane tank.
08:00 [inaudible] can you answer that?
08:12 Nickel. Enter. Can you answer that question?
08:19 Confirming: 70 yard?
08:23 Control, 61-Lincoln, Do you copy 70 yards?
08:28 That's affirm, 70 yards. Thank you.
09:05 [inaudible] our people are [inaudible] and
09:06 Open mike.
09:07 That one kid died.
09:09 Open mike!
09:11 How quick they get that crap out. It was quick. They were getting the news before we were getting it, so we--
09:21 Open mike!
09:29 Open mike at the press conference.