While some residents have criticized the search for missing Dorner so close by, the sheriff emphatically supported his department, raising his voice and saying deputies "performed flawlessly."
"Understand we found the door locked at that condominium," he said. "My instructions were that we were not going to kick the doors open to unoccupied residences or ones where nobody answered."
It was the condo's owners, Karen and Jim Reynolds, who finally found Dorner when they arrived Tuesday and unlocked the door that they assumed the maintenance man had locked. Dorner pointed a gun at them, tied them up and fled in their purple Nissan Rogue SUV.
"I really thought it could be the end," Karen Reynolds said afterward. Even though she was bound, she managed to call 911 moments after he left.
Local game wardens picked up the chase some 20 miles down the road, but Dorner quickly lost them on a side road, where he crashed the SUV and then carjacked a pickup truck from a man at gunpoint.
As he passed other wardens, he fired on them from his open window.
Dorner eventually crashed the truck and ran to the vacant cabin where the fierce gunbattle and standoff lasted hours. Tear gas and fire finally forced the gunman who began the rampage to bring it to an end.
After the distinctive crack of a single gunshot, investigators only heard ammunition popping in the flames as the cabin burned to the ground. Dorner's body was later found in the basement.
Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus, Greg Risling and John Rogers contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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