February 12, 2013
Guests: Howard Fineman
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says that yes, that cabin that you`re looking at,
it`s believed that one woman may have broken free and then called 911
today. And that`s what she`s hearing from her source and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I can tell you there`s no sign of any kind of
forced entry into the cabin. And I`ve been looking at the windows. I
thought that maybe one had -- it was broken, but it doesn`t appear that
way. There`s a screen off one of the windows towards the back end of the
cabin. And when the sheriff deputies went in there, one thing they did,
they pulled -- they pulled every -- all the drapes down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chuck --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The blinds down. And I`ve sent you guys some pictures.
I don`t know if you have them yet. I shot you a little video --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, we`re going to work on getting those but
we`re going to put you on hold --
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, I`m Chris Matthews in New
York. Just hours, actually two hours before the president delivers his
State of the Union. We`re tracking some serious breaking news of course
out of Southern California. We`ll get to all the news out of Washington,
what the president is expected to say tonight, how the Republicans are so
conflicted they actually have two responses planned tonight. And we`ll
have some of our top people here to tee off with maybe the president`s last
chance to go big.
But first the breaking news out of California. Police are in a tense
standoff right now in the San Bernardino Mountains with someone they
believe is the fugitive, the ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher
Dorner. It began when police deputies responded to a report of a stolen
car, actually a pickup. The suspect in that robbery was reported to match
Dorner`s description. And that led to this shootout situation.
In the last hour, the LAPD briefed reporters on what has happened so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect in the vehicle fled into the forest.
Shortly thereafter, this individual barricaded himself in one of the cabins
there and an exchange of gunfire occurred. During that exchange of
gunfire, two other officers were injured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Dorner has been the focus of an intense manhunt for
several days now. He`s suspected of killing three people including the
daughter of a former police captain and her fiance. He`s also suspected in
the shooting of -- of a police officer in Riverside County.
NBC`s John Yang is our Los Angeles bureau. He`s out there at the bureau
now with more.
John, I haven`t talked to you for an hour, what`s new?
JOHN YANG, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, not much is new. This has been
going on now for more about a little -- for more than three hours. It`s
still a standoff at this cabin up in Big Bear Lake, the San Bernardino
Mountains. We know that two officers, we`re not sure what jurisdiction.
Two officers have been wounded. There is no official word on their
conditions. They`ve been taken to Loma Linda Medical Center in Loma Linda,
California. The hospital is keeping mum.
They`re told that the San Bernardino County`s Sheriff`s Department is on
their way to the hospital. They will be making a public statement.
Nothing is being said about their conditions until the San Bernardino
Sheriff`s Department gets there. But the standoff continues in this cabin.
We are learning from people in the area that they believe the cabin is
vacant. They believe there`s no power, no running water, no Internet
connection, and no telephone service.
There had been shots exchanged, automatic -- what`s being described as
automatic gunfire coming from the cabin. But so far we`ve had no more
reports of any more injuries, no more reports on how this is progressing.
We`ve seen armored vehicles, armored equipment being moved up the road
toward that cabin. But so far no word as to what`s going on.
We have KNBC, our local NBC station here in Los Angeles, has moved their
helicopter out at the request of the sheriff and also FAA has put flight
restrictions on in the area. Clearly the sheriff doesn`t want anybody to
see what`s going on with the SWAT teams around that cabin. Certainly not
the person inside the cabin. Chris?
MATTHEWS: John, how did you -- how do we determine there`s no TV in that
YANG: We`re getting that from -- this is an "L.A. Times" report from the
owner who says that it`s been vacant. There was someone there this
weekend. They said it was vacant as of Monday. And that there`s no power,
no running water, no telephone service.
MATTHEWS: Which police forces are surrounding the cabin as we know it
YANG: Right now it`s the San Bernardino County Sheriff`s Department. We
understand that the California Fish and Wildlife, they were actually the
ones to first make contact with the suspect believed to be Dorner. A
California Fish and Wildlife warden spotted the vehicle, spotted the
suspect and first encountered them -- encountered the suspect.
The suspect and the warden got out of their vehicles, exchanged gunfire.
And that`s how all this began and then the suspect ran to this -- to this
cabin. We also understand that the U.S. Marshal Service is up there. The
LAPD, we understand, has representatives there. But they`re only there
standing by and will help if the San Bernardino California Sheriff`s
Department asked for it.
MATTHEWS: Do we know who`s bringing in the armored personnel carrier? And
maybe several of them?
YANG: We don`t know. I -- some of the markings I saw, I believe, were the
county sheriffs. But again, that was going up some shots from the -- from
KNBC on a monitor. So we really don`t know.
MATTHEWS: Well, we`re getting conflicting reports. I don`t want to put
them out now but the condition of the two police officers, one looked
pretty scary right now. So we`re going to get that officially from the
police department, not from the hospital. Right?
YANG: Exactly. There -- the hospital is holding -- is referring
everything to the sheriff`s department. And as I say, we have no official
word on the conditions of either of those officers. And the sheriff`s
department spokesman is on her way now to the hospital where we`re told she
will brief reporters. We don`t know when.
MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you so much, John, for that reporting in Los Angeles.
Right now we`re bringing in one of the great policemen of our time, Bill
Bratton. He`s with the -- he`s the former police chief of Los Angeles.
Bill, thanks for joining us. Mr. Commissioner.
BILL BRATTON, FORMER L.A. POLICE CHIEF: Good to be with you.
MATTHEWS: You know, you know barricade situations and what is the M.O.
here? What do police do?
BRATTON: Well, time is on the side of the police in this case. He`s
contained. He`s confined. He`s isolated. The first priority is going to
be to protect the lives of the police officers surrounding that cabin.
Hopefully there are not hostages inside. And as of now there are no
reports of that. So it`s him against law enforcement. So that he`s been
found, he`s isolated. There`s no urgency going in after him. They will
return fire as he fires at them because basically there`s too much risk of
them being injured by his gunfire.
They will certainly attempt to take him out with sniper fire if they can.
But the preferred course of action would be for him to surrender. So they
will probably make efforts to get a communications device into that cabin
if in fact there are no phones or he has no telecommunications within.
MATTHEWS: He has -- it`s been described as automatic weapons fire. What -
- what could that be? I thought they were all been outlawed since the
BRATTON: Not at all. It`s relatively easy to take a semiautomatic weapon
and make it into an automatic weapon. And indeed that`s one of the
MATTHEWS: Basically a machine gun.
BRATTON: In the current debate. Exactly. And this is certainly an
individual that`s very familiar with automatic weapons from his time in the
MATTHEWS: Well, it looks like he`s wounded two police officers. And I
just want to know in situations like that, I asked this an hour or so ago,
people under stress like this with their adrenaline rushing, is there an
accutability to hit people when you shoot. I mean is this -- he`s
apparently a trained military office, a Marine officer, police officer, he
could be a good shot, which is pretty scary.
BRATTON: Even in the best-case circumstances, some of the most highly
trained officers, I think they hit on the average less than 30 percent of
the time in terms of what they`re aiming at. And then the higher the
stress level, the fewer the rounds that are accurate. So in terms of the
first officer encounter -- the Fish and Game warden would appear to be, if
the story is accurate, that there was an exchange of gunfire, he`s a very
MATTHEWS: From what we`ve been able to figure out this man is very media
savvy, very intelligent, with all his emotions and mental -- perhaps mental
problems, probably emotional. And the question is, he knows he`s killed a
police officer. He knows he`s killed two other people if these are in fact
the case, alleged at this time, allegations at this time. If he knows he`s
facing capital punishment right now for having killed a police officer and
two other people -- and wounding two others, and attempted murder
situations, why would he surrender? How do you make him do that?
BRATTON: Well, the -- you know, he has his alleged list of grievances
against the LAPD so this would be in furtherance of being able to tell his
story. To go out in a blaze of glory, the story ends. So that I would
think his preferred option is to find a safe way to surrender so for the
next number of years we can all basically watch the machinations in the
criminal justice system.
BRATTON: In terms of the death penalty --
MATTHEWS: You mean have two or three years to put out his PR?
BRATTON: Exactly. The death penalty in California, my grandson will be
dead and buried by the time they put him to death. So --
MATTHEWS: Yes. See, he probably knows that.
BRATTON: He`s not fearful of the death penalty in California, believe me.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about his situation. The attitude he has towards
the LAPD. What do you make of it? And we`ve all spent our lives in
bureaucracies. I have. You find people that come along who never get over
a grievance. They may have a case. They may be mixed in terms of justice.
But they never get over it.
BRATTON: That`s right. And he is an injustice collector as described by
one of the profilers I`ve interacted with that takes in justices and it
just stews and it builds up in him. And his grievances in his mind whether
in -- my own mind or anybody else`s, they are his grievances and he has
them against the LAPD.
His assertions of racism, basically, I take quite frankly personal offense
with that. I spent my whole life in policing addressing that issue.
BRATTON: The LAPD of 2013 is not the LAPD of the `80s and `90s, or the
`70s. And his mindset, obviously this individual has many problems, but
the LAPD of today is a very different organization. The captain that
basically was in charge of his Board of Rights, there was just recently a
major article written about him in the black community. How beloved he is
there. His wife is African-American and a sergeant in the Los Angeles
BRATTON: And this was the person chairing the Board of Rights that
recommended his discharge.
MATTHEWS: And what was his -- what was the reason for his discharge?
BRATTON: Discharge was untruthfulness. It was found that in the course of
the investigation of his original allegations that he had been untruthful
and that the Board of Rights based on their examination determined that he
should be discharged. I discharged him as chief of police. He
subsequently appealed to the court system in California and lost in the
court system. So there was a separate review by the California court
system of the actions of the Los Angeles Police Department. And they were
MATTHEWS: What does a person like this in a -- in a stressful situation
like that guilty or innocent or whatever, whatever degree of guilt, what do
they do when they see an armored personnel carrier show up? They realized
then that you can`t do anything from your end. They`re invulnerable.
BRATTON: Well, traditionally in hostage situation, a barricaded persons
negotiations, you attempt to reduce the stress, the tension. I was trained
many years ago as a hostage barricaded person negotiator. In this instance
there will be an effort to kind of calm this thing down.
BRATTON: To reduce opportunities for him to shoot at officers and attempt
to engage him. Quiet him down and as we`re talking, the idea that
basically if you`re killed in the shootout, or you kill yourself, your
story ends. Surrender, you get the opportunity with the court system to
basically continue to tell your story.
MATTHEWS: But the sight of an armored -- an APC, he realizes then that
they can fire with impunity at him.
BRATTON: They can fire -- with impunity at him even without the armored
MATTHEWS: When there`s nothing for him to shoot at. There`s nothing for
him to shoot at.
BRATTON: That actually with the number of officers surrounding that cabin,
this is a trained marksman. That is the issue of concern about him firing
randomly into the woods --
MATTHEWS: I see.
BRATTON: -- at any point in time. He can hit one of these officers. And
so the idea is that they will return fire if he`s actively shooting at
them. Understandably they`re authorized to do that. The armored personnel
carrier would be used if in fact it was decided they now had to go in after
The time is on the side of law enforcement here. I`ve sat through these
situations for 36, 48 hours. He`s not going anywhere. And eventually
hopefully he`ll run out of ammunition. If he continues to fire, they will
attempt to take him out.
BRATTON: But the move to go in after him, why put additional officers at
risk in that very precarious type of situation?
MATTHEWS: Time is on the side of law enforcement.
Thank you so much, Commissioner Bill Bratton. I do respect you. Thanks so
much for coming on.
When we return, we`re going to follow the Dorner story throughout the hour.
Of course bring you up to date if there are developments.
And up next, it may be President Obama`s last chance, many people think, to
make it big as president in his second term. The State of the Union is in
less than two hours now. And our coverage begins after this.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: There are transformational presidents, Barack Obama has said,
and then there are simply who`ve occupied the office. Ronald Reagan is an
example, the president said, of a transformation leaders, someone who
changes the very direction of the country.
Well, tonight we get a good look at the president`s efforts in that regard.
Everyone who watches tonight will be able to see and hear President Obama
in his reach for history. Will he move mightily on the issues of
immigration and gun safety? Will he propose actions to chop down the
country`s long lingering high unemployment and high underemployment rates?
Will he lead the country to change? Will he use the bully pulpit to
pressure Republicans in Congress to take on the challenges that lie tonight
in the State of the Union?
Howard Fineman is editorial director for "The Huffington Post" and an MSNBC
political analyst. And Alex Wagner of course is the host of "NOW WITH ALEX
Howard, you first. But then, Alex, I would like to know your sense of the
way I`ve just gauged it. Is tonight going to be a pretty good look at the
depth through which this president is going to go to penetrate history?
HOWARD FINEMAN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, I think so, Chris, because I
think he is going to try hard. Because as he himself has said repeatedly
and his aides are saying today, doing something to improve the lot and the
lives of middle class Americans, the core and anchor of American democracy
is essential both for the country and for the president`s record.
So you`re going to hear a lot of that tonight. And I think he`s going to
make the case and make the claim that he can get it done. Republicans are
going to see it as a partisan speech, progressives are going to say he
isn`t going far enough. But this is the president`s last clear chance, I
think, to come to be known as a guy who not only saved us from disaster a
few years ago but really advanced the life of the middle class. Something
he really hasn`t done so far.
MATTHEWS: I`ll be right back to you.
Alex, your view of what the president`s central push will be tonight and
how deep it will go.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST, "NOW": Well, I think the president is going to
speak very plainly about the American dream. I mean this is something that
he`s been teeing up. This is the third speech in so far as election night
was won night -- the first part part. The second installment was of course
the inauguration and this is the third part. I think as Howard says, this
is going to be couched in sort of a bigger view about where the country is
The language in the excerpts that we`ve seen, Chris, is big language. He
talks about the economy being the North Star. He talks about the basic
bargains that makes -- that make America America. I mean, rhetorically I
think that this is a big speech.
MATTHEWS: Well, Howard, let`s go through what he`s going to try to get
from the Congress. He`s addressing the House of Representatives and the
Senate in that chamber tonight.
MATTHEWS: What`s the hardest reach? The real Hail Mary that he`s going to
come out with that might surprise everyone?
FINEMAN: Well, I think the Hail Mary would be on the topic that has been
woven into our coverage all night, Chris, which is gun violence. And I
think what he says about efforts at gun control will be listened to very
carefully for the reach of them. Whether they`re all realistic or not in
terms of achieving them, I don`t know. But people, I think, will want him
to dig deep on that. And they will be disappointed if he doesn`t.
On immigration, again, he`s got a chance for a deal. But as his -- his own
people have said doing something to really materially improve the lives of
the middle class is what he`s staking this second term on. And he`s going
to make the promise tonight.
MATTHEWS: So he believes in the end it`s going to come down to the way we
judged recent presidents. Bill Clinton is popular today.
MATTHEWS: Notwithstanding the impeachment and all that circus that went
on, because he improved the economy and improved the lives of Americans.
MATTHEWS: And so the president -- let me ask you that, Alex, the same
question. Does this president realize that pay dirt politically is
improving the lives of the vast middle class? It`s not about the stuff
around the fringe.
WAGNER: Oh, I mean, absolutely. I mean -- I think that`s a better --
that`s foundational to, you know, his presidency is improving the lot of
the middle class and talking about mobility, income mobility, a just and
more equitable American society.
But, Chris, in terms of the, like, curve balls that you asked Howard about,
I actually wouldn`t be surprised if we may be saw something on energy. The
president has been sort of dancing around this topic in recent months. It
is something that he notoriously promised he would address when he was
first elected. The rising of the seas and the warming of the planet. I
think there`s been talk among environmentalists that they`re looking
towards the State of the Union as perhaps addressing environmental change.
So I wouldn`t be surprised if we saw something --
MATTHEWS: The BTU tax, something like that?
WAGNER: Well, it could be something like, you know, a green bank. It
could be something about carbon caps and EPA levels.
WAGNER: It could be -- I mean there are a number of different proposals.
All of them will have to probably be done -- be done without the
cooperation of Congress given where we are in terms of debating the basic
science of climate change or at least where some members of the Republican
Party are. But I wouldn`t be surprised if we saw it in tonight`s speech.
MATTHEWS: OK, Alex and Howard, let`s go to partisan warfare. Here`s Mitch
McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: Some media outlets are already
reporting that we`ll be subjected to another litany of left-wing proposals
with plenty of red meat for the president`s base. I sure hope not. The
campaign is over. And the fact is if the president plans to accomplish
anything good for the country in the coming months, he`s going to have to
go through a Republican-controlled House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: But then we have Boehner today. He`s usually the milder version
of those two gentlemen in leadership saying he doesn`t have the guts to do
what he has to do in terms of fiscal policy.
Howard, this new term is street corner trash talk. Rubio did it. He
doesn`t have the guts. This sort of dare -- you go first kind of daring of
the schoolyard we grew up with.
MATTHEWS: It seems to me indecent. But I guess that`s what we talk like
FINEMAN: No. And I think that`s significant because John Boehner, you
know him, Chris. He doesn`t generally go that direction.
FINEMAN: But I think he`s doing it -- he`s throwing the red meat to his
own base which is the Tea -- an uncertain base for him which is the Tea
I think the key here is revenues. Don`t forget that the president was
able, I think, to outmaneuver the Republicans on the debt ceiling and get
an increase in the tax rates on the richest people in America. The
Republicans think that that was more than enough. They don`t want to talk
about revenues anymore. But the president tonight is going to talk about
revenues. Not tax rate increases, but other measures to generate --
FINEMAN: -- revenue and the Republicans is going to try to stand against
MATTHEWS: Howard, breaking news from California. Let`s go to L.A.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- bring treated here at Loma Linda. And unfortunately
one of our deputies passed away as a result of his injuries. I`ll take a
couple of questions.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Anything you could tell us about the other deputy
that was brought here? Was it indeed another San Bernardino County
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. They`re both San Bernardino County Sheriff`s
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And his condition?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s in surgery, but he should be fine.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sheriff, I was told by a source that the deputy was
shot in the face. Can you --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to comment on where his injuries are.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But were they aware it might have been Dorner in
the stolen car when they -- you know, I guess, when they tried to pull him
over or something?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly that information was made aware to the
deputies that the suspect that stole the vehicle matched the description.
He crashed the car and then took off into the forest.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Anything you could tell us about the deceased
deputy, number of years in the service, marriage --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to comment on any of that. We`re still
doing some investigation and notifying family members. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As you can imagine, the sheriff would like to get
back into the families in the hospital. Is there any other questions I can
try to answer for you?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you know how -- where the deputy passed away
here in the hospital or --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No information regarding the deputies is being
released at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jody, the two deputies that were injured, were they a
part of the gun fight or -- I mean, did they exchange fire with the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is still remains under investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And family members are here at the hospital now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family members have been notified, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This is early but do you guys know much in terms of
how much gun power he had in this gun battle?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t. As you know, the incident is still
unfolding at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What can you tell us about what`s going on right
now? We`re hearing that the home that he`s in or holed up in is on fire.
Can you give us more on that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sorry. I`m here with you guys. I`m not able to
see what -- you know, what`s happening actually out there at the scene. I
understand as I said that the incident is still currently unfolding at this
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you just tell us about the presence here at the
hospital? Obviously a large presence of sheriff`s deputies. Is no one
being allowed in the area?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as the hospital is concerned?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there`s a large presence of law enforcement.
Law enforcement is a very close-knit family. All law enforcement agencies
is a brotherhood. So this is a very difficult day, again, for law
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The LAPD is offering --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: LAPD is offering you a -- how will they play into
all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been offered assistance by all surrounding
law enforcement family -- law enforcement. As I said law enforcement is
one big family. They take care of each other. LAPD is yes, here, of
course. We`re being surrounded by law enforcement.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about up at the scene in Big Bear? Is LAPD
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, LAPD along with surrounding cities is also a
part of the incident on Highway 38.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you -- can you tell us the age of the deputies?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be no information released at this time
regarding the deputies.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that because family -- all family has not been
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s because we`re not releasing any information at
this time about any of the -- about the deputies involved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, thank you, guys, very much.
MATTHEWS: Yang is with the bureau -- NBC bureau out in Los Angeles.
John, that brings the casualty list to four. Two police officers, two
others, dead because of what this gunman`s involved with here now. And of
course we have two -- we have another wounded police officers apparently
going to make it.
This is continuing. And now we have what looks to be a barricade situation
up in the hills there in Big Bear County.
YANG: That`s right, Chris. And I can also tell you that we`re seeing
unfortunately not our helicopter, not the KNBC helicopter, but other
helicopters are showing black smoke rising from a cabin. We can`t tell
from the shot. It`s a little distant whether it`s in the cabin in which
the man believed to be Dorner has been barricaded in. But it does appear
that perhaps this may be moving toward some sort of conclusion. And as you
say, we now have one San Bernardino County Sheriff`s deputy killed in the
shootout this afternoon with the man believed to be Dorner. Another one
wounded, in surgery but expected to survive.
We now have two police officers, one Riverside police officer, one San
Bernardino County deputy who have been killed. And as you say, two others
killed as well. Chris?
MATTHEWS: Do we have a sense right now the order of -- how many police
officers and how many armored personnel carriers and other weaponry are now
a raid around this cabin out in the hills?
YANG: Well, we can`t see because of the -- because we`re being kept afar -
- a fair piece away. But you can only imagine. We`ve got both San
Bernardino County Sheriff`s deputies. You`ve got U.S. Marshals. You`ve
got LAPD. I`m not sure if Riverside Police have also responded or
providing assistance. But there`s a fair amount of personnel, equipment,
and presumably firepower around that cabin right now.
MATTHEWS: You know, I`m trying to figure out how bad this is going to get
tonight because I`m looking at the -- I heard a report on another network a
while ago that this officer had died. The deputy in the San Bernardino
Sheriff`s Department. And they held it because apparently they wanted to -
- they do it officially through the department.
This -- what`s it like out there? Give me a sense that we`re not getting
here of the importance of this to the people. And in terms of just local
security. I mean, every policeman in the area seems to be focused on this
YANG: And also the emotion, Chris, of police who have been guarding fellow
-- not only fellow officers who were listed in the manifesto, but the
families, the children, the wives, the spouses of officers. And you`ve
already had the daughter of one former officer killed. As LAPD Chief
Charlie Beck said over the weekend, you know, it`s one thing to have a job
and as a result of your job you are targeted. But to be related to
somebody and be targeted because you are the child of a police officer, you
are the spouse of a police officer. I think that it`s fair to say that
emotions and tensions are running high.
MATTHEWS: They sure are.
YANG: Among these officers. And as you know last week, you had LAPD
officers firing on vehicles that they were just -- that turned out not to
be carrying Dorner. That didn`t match the description of Dorner.
MATTHEWS: John, we have to go -- we have to go right now.
MATTHEWS: Thank you so much. Stay with us tonight. We`ll be right back
with you later.
Let`s go right now to KNBC for its live reporting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- maybe other agencies. The LASO, the LAPD, the FBI,
Marshal Service, and other state and federal agencies. But again, I would
think that as long as the Sheriff`s office was comfortable, that they had
both the negotiations as well as the tactical capability to resolve it,
they would take the lead and they would be the one to resolve the
situation. Backed up and supported by the men and women of all these other
agencies as well as other equipment.
As far as any type of air assets, other than having the helicopter fix wing
up on the off chance that the shooter inside that cabin would make a break
for it, I doubt that we would see any type of helicopters used to bring
tactical officers or agents in at this point. They can deal with it from
the ground. These are the situations that law enforcement is trained to
deal with. Local SWAT is very good at these things. And I think well
within the capability of the Sheriff`s Office to deal with this barricaded
For a long time law enforcement went this last week or so many times have
been out-gunned by the person believed to be Christopher Dorner because of
the high caliber or perhaps weapon capacity that he`s had. When he goes up
against a law enforcement SWAT team, that`s not the case anymore.
COLLEEN: Well, you know, that`s interesting because a lot of people think
officers are equipped with assault weapons now -- not necessarily.
VAN ZANDT: And the answer is no, not necessarily. Most of the time you
see patrol officers will have a semiautomatic pistol. They may have a
shotgun in the vehicle. They may have a rifle depending on the agency.
But, again, these are patrol officers doing what they normally do, which is
to try to maintain the peace on the street. That`s why we have SWAT.
That`s why we have men and women who are capable of these high-risk type of
And again, this is the situation, once they have the shooter believed to be
Dorner, located in a given location, local SWAT, sheriff`s office SWAT is
more than capable of dealing with the situation.
WHIT JOHNSON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Clint, Whit Johnson here. I want to
interrupt you just for a second to tell our viewers what they`re seeing.
This is a live picture from a helicopter. This is smoke billowing from the
area. We, at this point, cannot confirm exactly what this picture is, if
this has anything to do with the standoff.
COLLEEN: And I`m looking for anything that would be a major highway here.
Highway 38 and Glass (ph) -- but we`ve been told we have to get off the
shot right now.
So let`s switch back to what we were talking about. Again, we`re trying to
figure out where this smoke is coming from. It didn`t appear that there
was a major highway in the area. And it didn`t have that same
configuration that we saw earlier today with the cabins and the compound.
JOHNSON: Also didn`t have all the snow on the ground.
Just a few hours ago we saw the cabin that was at the center of all this,
snow, several feet of snow on the rooftop and on the roads. But, again,
it`s been a few hours; it`s later in the afternoon, it`s warmer;
potentially snow could have melted.
But, Clint, I want to ask you. You mentioned that the officers in the area
responding don`t want this to go into the night.
At -- what will they actually do? Obviously there`s -- there are decisions
that will be made in terms of how to escalate this.
At what point do they go in and decide to escalate the situation?
VAN ZANDT: Well, once the on-scene commander -- who I assume will be the
sheriff in this area -- one the on-scene commander has made a decision that
he has a strong inner and outer perimeter, the inner perimeter is usually a
SWAT team. Nobody passes that. SWAT has the responsibility from the inner
perimeter all the way, in this case, to the cabin.
There will be an outer perimeter, many times, of uniformed officers that
will keep everybody outside of the area. Their job is to make sure nobody
comes in, nobody goes out.
Once law enforcement has satisfied themselves that there are no hostages
inside the cabin and that they have made every attempt they believe
possible to try to talk this person out without any more violence, and it`s
not succeeding, and/or the person inside continues to fire rounds out, law
enforcement then will have no choice but make a decision to resolve this
JOHNSON: Well, and Clint, the decision is also to sit and hunker down and
wait it out or then to go in.
If they do decide to go in and, as you`ve been saying, that they would
probably like to do that before darkness, if they do decide to go in, how
would they do it?
I`ve seen standoffs in the past -- whether it`s tear gas, whether it`s
flash/bang grenades. How would you predict that something like that would
play out in this situation?
VAN ZANDT: We`ve had -- we`ve had too many people killed and injured by
this believed shooter already. I would hate to have to commit officers,
the SWAT teams, to physically go in that cabin if we thought Dorner was
there and he was still capable of shooting or firing at the officers.
So I would think they would do everything they could to, number one,
obviously isolate that cabin and, number two, fill it with smoke, gas or
anything else that they have within their tactical equipment to try to
drive that person from the inside out as opposed to having to commit
officers from the outside in.
It appears that there are no hostages to save. The only person inside is a
gunman who`s believed to be a multimurderer. We don`t need to have any
other officers wounded or worse by this guy. And the last thing we want to
do is give him more targets.
COLLEEN: And Clint, as we look at that, one of those issues may have been
resolved. This cabin is very isolated except for the wooded area around
there. We understand from Joe Grover, he was talking to the owner of this
cabin compound, and the main cabin, which is just off to the screen right
here, is vacant. It was occupied this weekend but is vacant now.
Is there any doubt in your mind that there`s some sort of communication
going on or an effort to communicate with the suspect in that cabin right
VAN ZANDT: Oh, I would -- I would have to assume because having been a
hostage negotiator myself for the FBI, I know in a situation even like this
where you`ve got someone who`s a believed killer or a killer of police
officers even, you would still make every effort to extend him the chance
to come out.
There would be a number of different things the negotiators might say. But
realize that it`s hard to negotiate when someone`s shooting at you.
COLLEEN: Well, how do you do it if he doesn`t have a cell phone and
there`s no land line there? Is it the old bull horn?
VAN ZANDT: Two different ways. Number one, you can use a bull horn. Of
course, that`s a one-way communication. It sounds very much like an old
episode of "Dragnet" or something when you do it, but if that`s the only
choice you have, you do that.
The other that puts a risk on the tactical team is that you have what`s
called a throw phone. Usually it`s a padded telephone. It`s wired. You
take that; you`d have a tactical team try to insert that into the cabin if
there was no phone in it, and give him the capability of two-way
But his only person on the other end of the line would be a law enforcement
negotiator. He wouldn`t have the ability to call out and talk to anyone
If he refuses it, that`s his choice. What -- when we see this situation
resolved, if it`s not already resolved, this will be resolved as
Christopher Dorner wanted to do it. If he wants to come out and if he
wants to have his day in court, law enforcement will let him do it.
If he wants to go out in a blaze of glory and feel that he will be martyred
by this, law enforcement will have to give him that opportunity, too.
COLLEEN: You know, there were reports earlier today. They were concerned
that the cabin might be booby-trapped. There were also concerns that he
might be dressed in tactical gear. And because he is familiar with LAPD
policies and he`s trained, how great a concern is that for the officers on
scene there, the SWAT officers?
VAN ZANDT: Well, again, there is no reason to risk the life of an officer
as long as they feel they have the situation stabilized and that there`s no
way that Dorner could get out without a law enforcement officer seeing him.
Time then becomes on the side on law enforcement, with the exception -- as
you and I have discussed -- of nightfall. And you don`t want to take the
chance, any way, shape, or form, that he could get out of that somehow.
You know, perhaps in a worst case scenario, there`s some underground
capability where one could go out, go 100 yards and pop up in the woods or
something. Law enforcement will not want to take that chance.
And again, it takes a lot to bring up lights and set lights up at night.
Those make very good targets, too. So law enforcement will make sure they
have that area covered, make sure that nobody can get in and out.
And then they will give Dorner the choice. And the choice basically is to
surrender or, in his case, die.
JOHNSON: And, Clint, stay with us for a second. I just want to walk our
viewers through what they`re seeing.
This billowing smoke from a wooded area, there are reports that this is
near the cabin at the center of this standoff. Reports have not been
confirmed about what is actually happening in this picture, but just want
to tell our viewers what they`re seeing on the left of their screen.
That is a picture of one of the roadblocks on highway 38.
And, Clint, I want to ask you, as a former FBI profiler, here you are in
this situation. We`ve talked; we`ve discussed several scenarios.
This is a man who has been trained by the LAPD, who`s been trained as a
U.S. Navy reservist. We know he`s armed and dangerous. We`ve been
reporting on his manifesto, in which he declares war against the LAPD.
Do you see any scenario in which this man, if it is, in fact, Christopher
Dorner, would surrender?
VAN ZANDT: The only scenario I think he would come out on would be if he
was convinced in his own mind or a law enforcement negotiator was able to
offer to him the idea that his life will be lost and no one will realize
the full reason why, that his manifesto wasn`t enough and that he needs to
come out. He needs to have his day in court.
If he believes that he was discriminated against, he needs to come out and
tell others. Otherwise, people are just going to write him off as some nut
with a gun. That might reach him, but again, I would say, with him in that
cabin and firing at law enforcement -- and, again, we`re told over 500
shots or more have been exchanged.
This is the type of guy that`s going to go to automatic pilot. Based upon
his law enforcement training, his military training, this is almost going
to be like some terrible video game, where he`s going from window to window
and firing and trying to acquire targets, believing it`s him against the
world. And tonight that appears to be the case.
COLLEEN: Clint, going back to those reports that he may have been dressed
in tactical gear trying to blend in, what does that say to you about the
situation, that he was trying to escape the mountain at this point?
VAN ZANDT: Well, I think he probably stayed up there as long as he could.
Realize that some have suggested that the cabin he was holed up in was very
close to the law enforcement command post. So he would have had the
capability, should that be the case, to see people come and go.
And he would have realized that a lot of the assets had been pulled off the
mountain, that they were being deployed in other places. And he may well
have figured that this was a good time he could slide out, perhaps pull a
hat down over his eyes, wear tactical clothing and drive out, and maybe
thinking that he could look like one of the other law enforcement officers.
But again, this is a guy who`s 6` tall, you know, 275 pounds. He was a
small mountain of a man, and it would have been hard to have blended in.
And obviously one of the state officers, who saw him drive by, recognized
him, thought he recognized him, turned around and confronted him. And
that`s when this apparently final confrontation took place.
JOHNSON: And, Clint, bear with us for a second. Just want -- our viewers
are watching these flashes, these breaking news flashes across the screen.
Again, want to mention that one San Bernardino County sheriff`s deputy has
been killed in a shootout with the man that police believe or authorities
believe to be Christopher Dorner. Another deputy is currently in surgery,
but is expected to survive, at last update.
And I wanted to ask you again about -- Colleen was asking about the
tactical gear and survival gear. There is some question as to whether
Christopher Dorner -- we`ve been hearing conflicting reports -- or this man
matching his description -- was inside this cabin and had been holed up
there, not this cabin where -- at the center of the standoff today, but the
other one where he allegedly took a couple hostage.
There`s some question as to whether he was there since Thursday, after he
ditched his vehicle, or perhaps just went there recently. You knew about
the conditions over the weekend. There was a snowstorm. Is it possible
that Christopher Dorner could have survived in the woods? Or do you think
it`s more likely that he`s been holed up and taking shelter ever since?
VAN ZANDT: I think it`s more likely that he`s been holed up and taking
shelter. Look, when you have snow 12, 15 inches of snow, when you have
temperatures that are about 15 degrees outside, when you have wind gusts up
to 50 miles an hour, that can give you a negative or a below-zero wind
Unless someone has appropriate multiple layers of clothes on and boots and
hats and gloves and everything else, you couldn`t -- you couldn`t survive
in that environment outside.
So he likely had to be inside some type of cabin, some type of location.
And again, realizing that, if he was on foot, not only is he carrying 275
pounds of Christopher Dorner with him, but he`s also carrying probably a
backpack and multiple guns and ammunition. So he wasn`t moving very fast
very quickly or very far in those mountains.
COLLEEN: Clint, do you think he`s setting this up for suicide by cop now?
VAN ZANDT: I think if he could, he would have escaped from the mountain.
But this is a smart guy. I mean, we can`t take it away from him. And in
his mind, just like we`re talking about various scenarios, he would have
had various scenarios, too, of what to do when confronted, whether he would
surrender, whether he would, in his own mind, fight to the death, perhaps
in a suicide by cop scenario.
So he had -- he had, just like any police officer or military officer, a
number of different responses based on the situation. He`s the one that
will choose that response. And again, tonight, this afternoon and tonight,
whether he lives or dies is pretty much a choice that he`s making and that
law enforcement will have to facilitate.
COLLEEN: You know, in your career in law enforcement, have you ever seen a
situation that even resembles this?
VAN ZANDT: I`ve never seen anyone this trained and this heavily armed.
When this first broke in with the murder of the young couple and the murder
of the police officer and the ambush of the other officers, I think I said
at the time, this is probably the most dangerous person that law
enforcement has gone up against in a number of years.
And I said that because, number one, his training; number two, his physical
size; number three, the amount of weaponry he had; number four, his
ability, his desire to actually use those weapons against others and
lastly, his indication that he was willing to die.
If you have someone who has all of those things going for them, plus no
reason to live, that`s an awful deadly combination. And, unfortunately,
we`ve seen that played out this last week.
COLLEEN: One other quick question: do you envision them bringing in maybe
family members to talk to him at all? Or is this going to be all said and
VAN ZANDT: No. No. This is going to be said and done. This is -- this
is -- if he wants this to be the Alamo, that`s what it`s going to be. But
there`s not going to be family members or ministers or anybody else calling
in talking to him.
I mean, I was on MSNBC earlier this evening with the Reverend Al Sharpton,
and I was trying -- because we thought perhaps if he had a television or a
radio inside -- as a negotiator, you know, my mind still functions like
With Al Sharpton, I was trying to give Dorner reasons why it would be
better to come out. You have to tell someone in the situation like that
what they have to gain versus what they have to lose and then let them make
And I think in the media, too, we`ve got a responsibility to try to do
that. Number one, whether we save Christopher Dorner or not, he`s another
human being but, more importantly, we save other police officers from
having to confront an armed individual who`s very capable of killing them.
As it may turn out that there was no television, no radio, no television or
telephone inside. But again, law enforcement is the one who would try to
talk to him. But if they try to speak to him verbally and he answered them
with volleys of gunfire, that`s the time you draw the line in the sand.
He`s made his decision and let`s get it over with.
COLLEEN: All right. Clint Van Zandt, thanks so much for your time.
You`ve shed a lot of light and a lot of perspective on what`s going on up
there in big bear for us. Appreciate it.
VAN ZANDT: Thank you.
JOHNSON: And right now we want to get to our John Caddis Climack (ph), who
is at one of the roadblock there on Highway 38.
John you`ve been watching and we`ve been seeing, too, these vehicles coming
and going , a variety of SWAT vehicles. What`s new from your vantage
JOHN CADDIS CLIMACK (PH), MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Five minutes ago, the
sheriff`s department, bringing one of their trucks that`s hauling those big
lights, those lights they use when they got to light up a very large area.
That`s the first one that we`ve seen come up. And then just moments ago,
we saw the first fire engine head up there as well.
Again, I want to make sure that you understand that we are 20 miles south
of where everything is happening. We`re keeping an eye on the ridgeline
here to see if we can see any of that smoke from our vantage point. The
answer is no to that. All we know is that it` happening up there.
Beyond that there`s really not much more we can say. We continue to see
the officers that are kind of standing around here. We`ve seen much less
activity going back up to the mountainside. But again, we`re about 20
miles south --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
CLIMACK (PH): OK. Sounds like they`re going to do some movement around
here to bring -- to bring some more crews in. I just want to look down the
street here and see if there`s anything large coming this way.
I don`t see anything, but it appears they just want to get a little bit
more room in here in case they do end up making this some sort of larger
command post as the night goes on. Guys, I`ll send it back to you.
JOHNSON: John, can you just describe those lights one more time? And I
ask because we were just speaking with an FBI profiler, Clint van Zandt,
who was saying that the concern right now is they do not want this standoff
to go into the darkness, here, that that only complicates the situation,
puts their officers at risk.
So you`re saying you saw large lights being carried up there? It appears
as if maybe they`re preparing for the sun to go down.
CLIMACK (PH): Yes, you know what, I wish -- I wish I knew -- you know, we
see them all the time. And I wish I knew what the name of those lights
are. But they`re the big ones. We are readjusting now as you`re watching
because it sounds like they`re getting ready to do some sort of press
conference over here where they`re going to be saying something.
So if you want to stay with us, we`ll find out who exactly is going to be
speaking here. But they`re trying to get all the media to move over into
this area to give us an update on something. So we`re going to reposition
Guys, can you come back to us when we`re ready?
COLLEEN: Absolutely. Absolutely.
In the meantime, we`re going to continue to look at this picture off to the
side here. This is a fire that`s burning in the area. This is not far
from the second cabin, where they believe Christopher Dorner is holed up.
We were talking with the FBI profiler, Clint van Zandt, just a moment ago.
He said what the standard protocol at this point is to establish an inner
perimeter, which would be the tactical units, i.e. SWAT and things like
that. The outer perimeter would be the patrol officers, who would close
off the rows and keep people out of the area.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) area.
COLLEEN: Let`s go back to the --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- subject barricaded in a cabin --
COLLEEN: -- in the news conference.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- and at this time, that cabin is on fire. As far
as our deputy sheriffs that were injured during the firefight, one of our
deputy sheriffs was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital. And
the second deputy is in surgery now and is expected to survive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe how this firefight happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t. I know that the subject stole a vehicle
from the Big Bear area. He fled on foot, not far from this cabin that he
is in now.
When he barricaded himself in the cabin, there was gunfire exchanged
between the deputies, who were the first responders, and the suspect. The
suspect has been described as looking similar to Christopher Dorner, and we
have reason to believe that it is him.
That is unconfirmed at this time, because we have not had any contact with
him, except for the deputies that were engaged in gunfire with him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me. How did this fire start?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the fire?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t talk to you about the fire. I just received
information when I got here.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, NBC HOST: Let`s go right now to John Yang, who`s with NBC
out of our bureau in Los Angeles.
John, what do we -- how do we put all these places together, these two
cabins, one where we thought he was having a shootout with the police
officers, and the other one that`s burning there? Are they one and the
JOHN YANG, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we just heard the San
Bernardino County Sheriff`s Department spokesman say that they are one and
the same, that this is the cabin where they believe Dorner has been holed
up, where he fled to this afternoon and that where he has been trading
shots with the San Bernardino County Sheriff`s Department.
MATTHEWS: Well, we`re both looking at the same NBC helicopter picture
here. And clearly an area where there has been snowfall recently. You can
see that. So it could well be. It looks like that.
Here is the question. Where is Mr. Dorner?
YANG: That`s a good question. Is he inside or was he inside? And how did
the fire start? Did he start it? I would imagine there is a possibility
that authorities might have fired tear gas or maybe even some smoke bombs
And it is possible. And this is pure speculation, that that could have
ignited a fire. But we just don`t know what is going on. And it does
appear that this fire is burning unchecked.
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s go right now to the news conference, John. It`s
being conducted by the San Bernardino Sheriff`s Department. Let`s watch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the subject inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there hostages in the cabin?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not aware of any hostages.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were there hostages held earlier?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not aware of any hostages.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the two that were held by him, that ended up
calling, were they harmed in any way? Who were they? How did they get out
of this thing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victims of the car theft, I know the car was
stolen from their home. But I don`t know how the incident unfolded at
their home. As far as I know, there were no injuries to those people.
But, after he fled the scene and then was engaged in a firefight with our
deputies, what happened at the house wasn`t that important after I knew
that they --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the house in the past two days as far as (inaudible)
reports he may have been holding this couple hostage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have not heard that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what kind of weapons you`re up against?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure somebody is that that house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure somebody is in that house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) house that`s burning?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe that someone is in that house, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe it is Christopher Dorner at this point?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have reason to believe that it is him. The
victims who had their car stolen reported to us that that suspect matched
the description of Christopher Dorner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As well as the game and fish wardens who came across
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know what the fish and game wardens said.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you confirm that there are no hostages or you just
don`t have any information?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have not been advised that there are any hostages
involved in this current situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to clarify, what we`re talking about is reports
not today, not this one where the fire is, but on Club View that he may
have been holed up in a home or a cabin over there with a couple that was
tied up. There are reports going around. We`re just trying to clarify.
Is there any truth to any of that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That hasn`t been confirmed. Like I said, as things
begin to unfold, when I knew that the victims of the car theft were not
hurt, I didn`t ask any further about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- deputies who were shot, including two deputies and
the ranger, or were there more than that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m only aware of our two deputy sheriffs that were
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You start with fish and game, is that originally
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did hear reports that there were shots fired at a
fish and game vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they then -- I mean, call the sheriff`s
How did it unfold?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The situation was already going on at that point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if the gas that was put into the house
started the fire?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) internally?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how much force did they go in with in? Was it just
gas they went in with or other devices?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. It`s an active situation, and they`re
not concerned about updating me with that kind of detail at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there`s any explosions (inaudible) on the house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) bomb at some point? And did the --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. I know that there was -- there was a
smoke bomb. But I don`t know if that was from the suspect or from the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) any ammunition or explosion at the burning
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would assume that there is ammunition there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is time on your side, or at some point do they just
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That will be up to them to determine how to handle
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has the entire area been -- all the civilians in the
area been moved out ahead of this? Or are there people who are now in
their homes, in that immediate area with Christopher Dorner perhaps on the
run in the Seven Oaks area?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not aware there are any neighbors who need to be
evacuated. I think if there were, that that was done early on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How confident are you that you have him? Are you going
to wait until this thing completely burns to the ground before you move in?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re evaluating it as -- the scene is -- it`s an
active scene. And it`s burning right now. And they`re going -- they have
a plan. And they have not had time to update me on every detail of that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand. But clearly, we have (inaudible) 30
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) being fired out of the house before the
fire started, or was it after the fire started?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was -- there was active gunfire before the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what type of weapon he had?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t know who started this fire? Law
enforcement or Dorner?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don`t. I don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly there were shots coming from the cabin towards
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the gunfire exchanged? Both --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was an exchange of gunfire between the subject
in the cabin and the law enforcement personnel that were surrounding the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And at that time the cabin was completely surrounded by
law enforcement when that exchange was going on?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Completely surrounded, I`m not sure. But there was
law enforcement outside of the cabin --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he could have --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- when the exchange of gunfire occurred. We had air
units up as this was going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eyes on the entire time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) were shot while the suspect was in the
cabin, not while he was running to the cabin, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know the exact sequence of events. I know
there was an exchange of gunfire. Two deputies were shot. One of those
deputies died as a result. The second deputy is in surgery and is expected
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if this man was hit, if Dorner was hit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At some point Mr. Dorner abandoned the stolen vehicle?
Is that what you -- ?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did. He abandoned the stolen vehicle and fled
into the forest, and that`s how he ended up in this cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know if -- ?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gunfire had been exchanged before he abandoned the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nom after he abandoned the vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had about a half hour --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) any chance you guys --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys aware if he has been hit by any of --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re not aware.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have about a half hour of sunlight left. How
critical is it that you guys get him before that sun goes down or end this
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it`s critical that we end this situation as
soon as possible. He is an armed and dangerous subject.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you just give us another summary, please, up to
date summary (inaudible)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) beginning, summarize (inaudible)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are no police cars missing that I`m aware of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any attempt of -- any attempt of
communication with him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it appear he had any body armor?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. They didn`t indicate that he did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any speculation that this -- the suspect
probably fled the area before he caught the house on fire?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know what kind of speculation is going on
there at the scene.
At about 12:20, deputies that were actively working the search for
Christopher Dorner received a report on Club View Drive from -- the
reporting party said that their vehicle had been stolen from their home.
They also reported that the subject who stole their vehicle matched the
description of Christopher Dorner. Immediately, all available law
enforcement on the mountain and other units from down the hill began to
surround the area.
Our air units were up. They located the vehicle. The suspect that was
driving the vehicle abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot into the forest.
He barricaded himself in a cabin.
At that time, there was an exchange of gunfire between the law enforcement
personnel outside of the cabin and the subject inside. During that
gunfight, a deputy sheriff -- two deputy sheriffs were shot. One of them
died after being taken to Loma Linda. The second deputy is currently in
surgery and is expected to survive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were these deputies on routine patrol, or were they
part of this large assignment --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The deputies that were shot were a part of the search
efforts to find Dorner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the situation now with the burnt house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The house is burning quite significantly. It doesn`t
seem that anybody could survive in there.
How soon before they go in and confirm whether he is there or not?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know how soon that will be, probably when
it`s safe to do so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) part of the fire?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or it`s actually an occupied --
BACHMAN: They believe it was a rental, and that there was no one there.
REPORTER: But how sure can you be? How secure is the area around that
house? How well were your helicopters watching the area while he was in
there and this was playing out? How sure are you --
BACHMAN: I can`t answer that right now.
REPORTER: -- that whoever was in there is still in there?
BACHMAN: No, I don`t know. I don`t know. I found out just when I arrived
that the cabin was on fire.
REPORTER: Just to confirm, there has been no further gunfire from the home
since that fire broke out?
BACHMAN: It`s my understanding that since the fire began at the cabin,
there has been no other gunfire.
REPORTER: And what can you tell all the residents of big bear and the
surrounding area at the moment as the sun is about to set. Is this guy
still on the loose?
BACHMAN: I can`t answer that for you.
REPORTER: But it`s a possibility?
REPORTER: Cindy, thank you. Thank you for talking to us.
OK. So you just heard an update from Cindy Bachman with the sheriff`s
department. We`re going to weave our way out of here again. But it`s a
very important point that she talked about through all this. One of them
being, they`re not exactly sure through all the shooting that happened
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