Unconfirmed police audio from the standoff Tuesday evening with alleged cop-killer Chris Dorner suggests the fire in the cabin where the suspect was holed up may have been started by the police, the Guardian speculates.
Update Feb. 13, 2013, 7:30 p.m.:
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the fire was not set on purpose. "We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," McMahon said. However, McMahon said one type of tear gas used was "pyrotechnic" and acknowledged that it "does generate a lot of heat." McMahon said the fire "erupted" after police launched the pyrotechnic canisters, which are called "burners," into the cabin. Watch video of the press conference here.
In the police audio, which was broadcast on CBS affiliate KCAL-TV on Tuesday, frantic voices of officers can be heard, including one officer apparently saying "Burn it down" or "Burn him out," while another officer appears to shout, "F***ing burn this motherf****r!"
The audio's veracity could not be confirmed.
Click the video above to hear the police audio from KCAL-TV.
In addition, a video that has surfaced on YouTube appears to include another recording of police audio from Tuesday's standoff. In the audio, which could not be independently confirmed, a voice says, "We're gonna go forward with the plan, with the burn ... Like we talked about."
A short while later a male voice says: "Seven burners deployed and we have a fire." A female voice then responds: "Copy. Seven burners deployed and we have a fire." (Listen to the full audio here.)
Lending credence to the audio tapes is the reporting of journalist and author Max Blumenthal, who as The Guardian notes, was listening to the police scanners on Tuesday and live-tweeting what he heard.
Hard to decipher on San Bernadino Sheriff scanner now: "We're gonna go ahead w/the plan w/the burner... Like we talked about."
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 12, 2013
BREAKING: PD scanners right now: "The burner's deployed and we have a fire." Sheriffs have set #Dorner cabin on fire or so it seems.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 13, 2013
The Huffington Post has reached out to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for comment. We will update this piece if more information becomes available.
A charred body was later found inside the cabin, according to the Associated Press. One San Bernardino sheriff's deputy was killed in the standoff with Dorner near Big Bear Mountain on Tuesday. Another was injured and is currently in surgery, the Los Angeles Times notes.
Dorner allegedly killed three other people before the Big Bear standoff. The other victims were Riverside Police officer Michael Crain, who was shot Thursday morning while on patrol with his partner, and an Irvine couple, Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, who were found shot in their car in Irvine, Calif., on Feb. 3.