Dorner Manhunt Ends In Deadly Shootout
It was an extraordinary scene at the last stand firefight between police and the rogue ex-cop who was barricaded inside a cabin.
The battle ended with the cabin in flames and America's most wanted fugitive, Christopher Dorner believed dead in the inferno.
KCBS and KCAL TV reporter Carter Evans and a camera crew found themselves in the middle of the breathtaking action.
Evans said, "You could hear the exchange of gunfire. But at occassions, you could also hear the bullets whizzing past the camera as well, and I think that's the moment when I noticed that we were really in a dangerous situation."
Evans reported for KCBS, "Christopher Dorner is holed up in a cabin about 100 yards behind our position right now. You can see authorities and SWAT teams with their guns drawn. Armored vehicles just down the road as they prepare to move in."
Evans relived his horrifying moments for INSIDE EDITION.
"One of these deputies came up to me and provided cover as we fell back a couple of cars and were able to get behind into a safer area," said Evans.
Dorner shot one deputy to death and injured another. The SWAT team threw smoke grenades so that their brothers in arms could be medevaced.
Police called in a demolition vehicle to tear down the cabin. In police transmissions officers could be heard talking about burning Dorner out, forcing him to run.
"Burn that (blank) down!" shouted one officer.
Just seconds later, the cabin was engulfed in flames. An officer reported, "Seven of the burners deployed and we have a fire."
That exchange is triggering controversy over the final moments of this drama.
Ashleigh Banfield said on CNN, "Be it fire, be it gas, is it possibly justified that they did intend to burn down the cabin?"
As the cabin blazed, a single shot was heard from inside. An officer reported, "We just heard like one shot fired from inside residence."
Evans told INSIDE EDITION, "Officers were asking me yesterday, 'How did you end up here?' and I said, 'You know, I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.' One of them told me, 'You know, if you had been about 10 feet further up, it would have been the wrong place at the wrong time.' "
The end for Dorner began when he sought to flee from the Big Bear ski village where he had been holed up for five days.
Fish and wildlife officers spotted Dorner driving a stolen car. He actually slipped his vehicle between two school buses as they slipped through a checkpoint. In the ensuing chase, Dorner crashed his car and hi-jacked a pick-up truck.
Rick Heltebrake was behind the wheel of his pickup truck when Dorner carjacked his vehicle.
Heltebrake told INSIDE EDITION, "He pointed a big long rifle at me. I stopped. I wasn't going very fast, so I just stopped and put my truck in park, put my hands up. He said, 'I don't want to hurt you. Just get out and start walking up the road and take your dog.' "
Within seconds fish and wildlife officers spotted Dorner again and there was an exchange of fire. He dumped the vehicle in the woods and fled on foot to the cabin where he made his last stand.
Dorner was armed to the teeth and among his arsenal was a 50 caliber rifle. INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney fired one for a story on training in the Navy SEALs. It's a terrifying weapon to be in the hands of a madman.