updated 02/16/2013 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/16/2013 AT 11:00 AM ET
Ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner pledged to kill a lot of cops in his revenge-fueled killing spree, but once he was surrounded on Tuesday, Dorner apparently turned one of his many weapons on himself – ending one of Southern California’s largest-ever manhunts with a self-inflicted gunshot.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters Friday evening that Dorner died from “a single gunshot wound to the head.”
This supports early media reports that officers in a shootout last week with Dorner (which left one deputy dead) said they stopped being fired upon after hearing a single gunshot from inside the house where Dorner sought refuge. However, McMahon stopped short of confirming Dorner committed suicide, saying the manner of death is “still under investigation.”
McMahon primarily used the press appearance to explain how deputies – who searched door to door for Dorner in Big Bear Lake the previous Thursday – failed to find him when he was apparently in a condominium only a few hundred feet from where his burned truck was abandoned.
McMahon said his deputies searched the complex, but the unit where Dorner apparently hid was locked, and deputies were not authorized “to force entry into residences that did not show signs of being broken into.”
Officials said that during his rampage, which left four people dead in three counties, Dorner used “numerous canisters of CS gas and smoke; multiple assault rifles equipped with suppressors; semi-automatic hand guns; and a military-style Kevlar helmet,” among other weapons and equipment.