We listened to him die last night, you and I.
Here is what it sounded like.
It happened after Dorner made a desperate escape attempt. Two maids found him in the condo he was hiding in at Big Bear, less than a half mile from the headquarters of the search trying to hunt him down. He tied them up and stole their car. He then crashed that car, and carjacked a truck.
Moments later he fired upon two wildlife units in a drive-by before crashing the truck in a ravine.
Details are still a little murky about what happens precisely at this point, but Dorner was cut off by San Bernadino Sheriff’s Deputies, and wounds two (one later dies) before taking refuge in a cabin.
Hundreds, if not a few thousand rounds were exchanged in the firefight between Dorner and the LEOs that swarmed around the cabin. We do know at one point Dorner threw a smoke grenade and attempted to escape, but was suspected to have been hit in this exchange and fell back inside the structure.
So that’s the situation.
A murderer who has published a manifesto that he intended to fight to the death, who had attempted to kill every police officer he’d seen, who had made a series of successful escapes, is now holed up in a solid structure ( a log cabin) that provided cover and and concealment for him, while officers are forced to take whatever scant cover and concealment they could find behind vehicles and trees and the exterior corners of nearby cabins.
The LEOs respond with a small breaching vehicle, which appears to be nothing more or less than a lightly-armored version of the ubiquitous Bobcat construction vehicle that used to “dance” on Captain Kangaroo.
The vehicle “ports” (knocks holes) into the walls, and they pump in tear gas. Dorner chooses to remain inside.
Dorner claimed to have explosives in his manifesto.
He’s professed his wish to kill as many officers as possible in his blaze of glory. Dorner has initiated and returned fire at every possible opportunity. He’s killed five so far. Should there be more?
Do you send in a tactical team into a situation where you might expect the suspect to have an IED? No responsible commander who valued the lives of his men would.
Do you merely set up a perimeter, and hope that his insanity of the past week suddenly fades? Do you take the chance that he’s pie a corner from the dark of the cabin, and kill yet again? Do you run the risk of him charging your men, getting off more rounds that might widow and orphan more?
Dorner had a week to surrender, on his own terms.
He had chance to surrender at any part of the long process of the bobcat knocking down parts of the exterior walls. He had another chance to surrender when the tear gas was deployed.
It is my judgement that the on-scene commander mad the rational, morally-correct, and legally-justifiable call.
He called to deploy “burners,” which Dorner reminded us in his manifesto, is likely one of the “TTPs” he knew they would be forced to try.
They deployed CS gas grenades. CS isn’t a flamethrower. It isn’t the equivalent of pouring gas on the building that will set the entire structure up in a flash, giving Dorner no final chance to escape.
The primary purpose of these grenades is of course the choking CS gas they deploy, but the high heat they produce give them their “burner” nickname, and this is not unwanted. Moments after deploying them, the building begins to burn.
There is then a single, solitary, muffled shot. It is at this moment it is suspected that Christopher Jordan Dorner chose to end his life.
I’m hearing some whining that the tactic of using these CS grenades to ignite the structure and force his hand is somehow unsporting to poor Mr. Dorner.
It is a “violation of his constitutional rights.”
It is a “violation of the homeowner’s property rights.”
It is “proof of a police state.”
It is “murder.”
I see widows. I see orphans.
Why was it okay to torch the cabin? Basic human decency.
Try it when your sanctimony runs thin.
Update: It seems we’ve discovered something almost as morally repulsive as leftists cheering Dorner as he killed cops; radical libertarians who think cops taking logical steps to end his rampage at the end of a gun battle didn’t give him “due process.”
Yeah… they think they’re holy like that.