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Dorner manhunt 911 tapes released

San Bernardino Sun

First Published Apr 10 2013 09:31 am • Last Updated Apr 10 2013 09:32 am

San Bernardino County authorities on Tuesday released recordings of the 911 call that led to the fiery end to the manhunt for murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner in February.

The county’s attorneys released the electronic recordings of the Feb. 12 call in response to a public records request. The tapes contain more than 20 minutes of conversation between a female 911 dispatcher and a woman who called to report that she and her husband had been tied up by Dorner, who also stole their vehicle.

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Although officials declined to identify the callers in their release, the couple has been identified in news reports as Jim and Karen Reynolds, who owned the condo.

The Reynoldses, who could not be reached for comment, claim they deserve $1 million-plus reward that authorities have offered for information leading to Dorner’s capture and conviction. Rick Heltebrake, a motorist who Dorner carjacked in his attempt to flee law enforcement on Feb. 12, also lays claim to the reward.

After fleeing the Reynoldses’ condo, where he hid during the six-day manhunt, Dorner exchanged gunfire with pursuing California Fish and Wildlife wardens, carjacked Heltebrake and barricaded himself inside a Barton Flats cabin. There, Dorner shot and killed Deputy Jeremiah MacKay and wounded another deputy. SWAT deputies and others swarmed the area around the cabin and eventually deployed pyrotechnic tear gas grenades. The cabin ignited and deputies heard a single gunshot from inside.

County Coroner reported Dorner died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

The 911 tapes contain audio from when the Reynoldses reported their discovery of Dorner:

Dispatcher: 911 emergency what are you reporting?

Female Caller: (Unintelligible)

Dispatcher: Sorry?


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Female Caller: We have been tied up by him. He has taken off with our Nissan Rogue.

The female caller told the dispatcher Dorner left the condo 15 to 30 minutes before, and that she and her husband remained tied up.

In the recording, the Reynolds tell the dispatcher that Dorner was armed with an automatic weapon, equipped with a silencer.

Roughly 15 minutes into the call, the deputies who rescued the Reynoldses make their approach to the condo. The recordings end with the Reynolds being freed.

In related news, Heltebrake’s attorney objected Tuesday to the newly announced process for distributing the reward .

Heltebrake’s lawyer, Allen Thomas, wrote that an announcement made Friday was unclear how the reward process will work. He said the questions should be resolved before claimants are asked to waive their right to challenge the results in court.

LAPD Lt. Natalie Cortez, the coordinator for thee reward applications, was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The process was announced jointly by the cities of Los Angeles and Irvine, Los Angeles and Riverside counties, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, First Watch Corp., the Los Angeles Dodgers and the University of Southern California, plus anonymous donors.

The announcement set a deadline of April 19 for applications and said a panel of three retired judges will decide who gets the reward.

Some of the organizations and the city of Irvine are putting money into a trust account and have agreed to abide by the retired judges’ decision.

But three participants — the city of L.A. and Los Angeles and Riverside counties — will require separate applications and could make their own decisions on who gets the reward.

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