A shot to the temple took quadruple-homicide suspect Christopher Dorner's life Tuesday at a burning cabin, and the preliminary conclusion is it "seems to be" self-inflicted, a sheriff's captain annouced Friday afternoon.
Still undetermined: who fired the shot.
Riverside County coroner's staff conducted the autopsy, which took about six hours on Thursday, San Bernardino County sheriff's Capt. Kevin Lacy said. The body of Dorner, 33, who'd allegedly vowed revenge on dozens of people in a was found in the ashes of a San Bernardino Mountains cabin in which he'd barricaded himself and shot at officers.
"Yesterday beginning at about 9 o'clock the Riverside County coroner's office began the autopsy of the unidentified body that was recovered from the mountains here in our county the previous day," Lacy said.
"The autopsy took about six hours and during the course of the autopsy, two significant findings were made," Lacy said.
"One was that we were able to identify through a dental examination that the body that we recovered was in fact that of Christopher Dorner," Lacy said.
"The second important finding that was made was something that we have not been talking about yet, and that is the cause of death," Lacy said. "During the autopsy yesterday, the doctor who conducted the process concluded that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.
"We are not at this point ready to speak about the manner of death and tell you whether or not it was as a result of a self-inflicted wound or another round," Lacy said.
"We will tell you that while we are still compiling the information, and putting our reports together, the information that we have right now seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner's life was self-inflicted."
Authorities believe Dorner, who was fired by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009, is accountable for four killings in the space of ten days: a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiancé in Irvine on Feb. 3, Riverside police Officer Michael Crain on Feb. 7, and San Bernardino County sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay on Feb. 12.
Crain was a Redlands High School graduate, a student at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, and a Beaumont resident. MacKay worked in the Big Bear area and Yucaipa and he was a resident of Redlands. Both men leave behind wives and young children.
Charred human remains found in a burned out cabin east of Angelus Oaks late Tuesday were positively identified with dental records as the remains of Dorner, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department announced Feb. 14.
Other stories about the Christopher Dorner manhunt and outcome:
- Burned Body Positively ID'd as Christopher Dorner
- Camp Tahquitz Ranger's Confrontation With Dorner
- Dorner's Mom: Condolences to Those Harmed By Son
- Officials: Manhunt Called Off; Cabin Fire Not Deliberate
- Human Remains Found in Cabin; No Dorner ID
- Woman Thought to be Dorner's Mother Seen Watching News Coverage at La Palma Restaurant
- Social Media Following Dorner Manhunt
- LAPD: Dorner May Have Visited Manhattan Beach Hotel
- TMZ: Dorner Visited Sport Chalet Before Killings
- Did Dorner Have an Accomplice?
- Ex-Deputy Chief: Dorner May Target Command Posts
- LAPD Issues All-Clear in Reported Northridge Dorner Sighting [Video]
- Manifesto by Manhunt Target Christopher Dorner
- Long Beach Woman Reportedly Was Married to Dorner
- UPDATE: $1M Reward Offered for Dorner's Arrest
- Police: Shootings Case of Mistaken Identity
- Dorner's Suspected Trek Through California