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Couple Held Hostage by Dorner Speak Out

Aired February 13, 2013 - 22:46   ET


ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: I'm Isha Sesay with a breaking news. The couple who say they were held hostage by Christopher Dorner yesterday spoke out just a short time ago about their ordeal. Listen to this.


KAREN REYNOLDS, HELD HOSTAGE BY DORNER: Hello, everyone. We would like to make a statement regarding the incident that occurred here yesterday afternoon.

First of all, I'd like to introduce ourselves. This is my husband, Jim Reynolds, and I am Karen Reynolds, and -- sorry. We are the owners of Mountain Vista Resort.

The first thing that we would like to clarify is that we were the victims that were in with him yesterday, and our housekeepers were not involved at all. He never saw them; they never saw him.

The unit that he was in was a unit that we have been using for over three years as a long-term rental. And it has been unoccupied since January 29. And since that period of time, we have been trying to refurbish it and clean it up and working on it off and on between the busy winter season. So the last date that we were actually in there working was February 6.


K. REYNOLDS: Yes, that was Wednesday.

J. REYNOLDS: We were planning to go back Thursday. We were planning to go back Thursday and continue working, but that's when they found his truck and all the excitement.

K. REYNOLDS: And all that.

J. REYNOLDS: And so we just stayed in the house and did the go back.

K. REYNOLDS: The chaos. We were watching all of you and everyone, like that command center being set up and everything. So we didn't actually do any work that day.

FEMALE REPORTER: So would he have been here since that Thursday, and through that whole period of time, watching the command post, watching the press briefings?

K. REYNOLDS: He could have been, but we don't know for sure that he was. But -- and then the first time that we had gone in there since, because we had, you know, a heavy weekend and all the snow, was yesterday. And it was just Jim and I that had gone in there. And that's when we found he was in there, and that's when all of this had started.

MALE REPORTER: Did he steal your car?

MALE REPORTER: Wow. Tell us what happened.

J. REYNOLDS: Yes, he took our car.

MALE REPORTER: Took the car?

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, he did.

FEMALE REPORTER: What happened when he saw you?

K. REYNOLDS: Well, when we had come in, he was in the upstairs part, and that's where the living room is and one bedroom upstairs.

J. REYNOLDS: In the back.

K. REYNOLDS: And we had come into the living room, and he opened the door and came out at us. And he his gun drawn.

J. REYNOLDS: And he ran out. So he yelled "stay calm" and ran out.

MALE REPORTER: So you were not tied up?

J. REYNOLDS: Yes, we were.

K. REYNOLDS: Not at that point.

J. REYNOLDS: Not at that point. Just saw him.


K. REYNOLDS: Yes. Right. That has been wrong. It was the two of us.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did he come back in at all while you were there?

K. REYNOLDS: Well, he was in there with us. We didn't get away from him. And he spoke with us, tried to calm us down.

J. REYNOLDS: Yes, and we -- when he jumped out and hollered "Stay calm," Karen screamed and turner and started running, and he ran after her. And he caught her about the door...

K. REYNOLDS: On the staircase.

J. REYNOLDS: ... on the staircase and brought her back.

FEMALE REPORTER: It sounded like he tried to calm you down.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, he did. He was talking to us. J. REYNOLDS: You could see that big gun sticking up there.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes. He had his gun drawn the whole time.

J. REYNOLDS: He had the gun drawn, showing with the flag.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did you know it was him?

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, yes.


MALE REPORTER: How long were you in there with him? How long?

J. REYNOLDS: About 15 minutes.

K. REYNOLDS: It felt a lot longer.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did he tie you up?

K. REYNOLDS: Yes. It felt a lot longer. He talked to us, tried to calm us down, and saying very frequently he would not kill us. And that's exactly how he had said that.

He told us about the man in the boat in San Diego.

J. REYNOLDS: Said he didn't kill him; he wasn't going to kill us.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes. He turned to us, trying to calm us down, and said very frequently it was a means to the end with that man, and that's exactly how he had said that. He told us that, while the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) what he wants from us. He needs transportation out of Big Bear.

And he said -- he continued to say quite frequently he would not kill us. And he just us to do what he asked. And so he had bound our hands first while we were still in the living room...

J. REYNOLDS: He had some plastic ties, big, big wraps on and he made us put our hands behind our back and tied our hands. He made us get up and walk into the back bedroom bad there.

First he had us lay on the bad and cross our feet, then he had me lay on the floor and then he tied the hands real tight and cut my circulation off. And he did her, had her lay down, did the same thing.

Reporter: Did you think he was going to kill you then?

MALE REPORTER: Not you think he was going to kill you then?

J. REYNOLDS: When he had me laying on the ground, I thought he really did. I thought he changed his mind, he was just going to get us in there and was going to do it. But he -- once he got us down, then he went out to the bathroom real quick and came back with a couple of washcloths, stuck one in each of our mouths. Then he... K. REYNOLDS: He went back into the living room.

J. REYNOLDS: Back in the living room again.

K. REYNOLDS: And he came back, like, with a cord and tied it...

J. REYNOLDS: Got a couple of extension cords.

K. REYNOLDS: Tied it around.

J. REYNOLDS: Put a pillow case around our head --

K. REYNOLDS: Over our head.

J. REYNOLDS: The cord through the mouth, went around the back and tied it real tight.

K. REYNOLDS: And he put pillowcases over our heads.

MALE REPORTER: Why are you talking with us now? What's the motivation?

J. REYNOLDS: Get the record set a little straight. There's a lot of misinformation out there.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, a lot of misconception. We have people -- you know, we have guests who think that our place has burned down because the cabin that he has died in -- well, we think it's him but, you know, has burned down. All the things about it being -- the women were here and working but they were not involved at all with him.

FEMALE REPORTER: After he -- how do you think he got in? After he tied the pillow cases to your head, did he leave? What happened then, and when did you know it was safe to do something?

J. REYNOLDS: He went -- first he kneeled down beside me and said "You're going to be quiet, right? Don't make a noise. Don't try and get loose. Give me time?"

I said, "Oh, yes, sure."


J. REYNOLDS: Then he left and he was back in probably 15 or 20 seconds. He wasn't gone very long. And he looked -- he looked at the car keys I gave him and said these aren't keys. It's just a security system. We had a keyless car.

He -- and trying to talk through the gag, trying to tell him how to start the car. And he's asking how to start the car and how to get it going. And then he left. We listened for probably a minute or two to make sure he was gone. It sounded quiet. So then we sort of started trying to get loose.

MALE REPORTER: Did he seem desperate, or did he seem...

J. REYNOLDS: He was very calm, very...

K. REYNOLDS: Methodical. Everything, like telling us what to do. Stayed with the...

FEMALE REPORTER: How do you think he got in? Did it appear he had been in several days?

K. REYNOLDS: I have no idea how he got in. There weren't any signs of it being broken into. But another thing he had talked to us about was that he said we are very hard workers; we're good people. He talked about how he could see Jim working on the snow every day.

J. REYNOLDS: He'd been watching us and saw me shoveling the snow. And that was Friday.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did at any time he talk to you about why he was doing what he was doing?

J. REYNOLDS: Yes. He wanted to come with me.

K. REYNOLDS: He had said, "I just want to hear my name."

J. REYNOLDS: He said, "I don't have a problem with you. I just want to clear my name.

MALE REPORTER: He was, like, extraordinary.

J. REYNOLDS: I don't think so.

K. REYNOLDS: No. I mean, we had walked in on him. But I don't think -- I don't know. I don't have any -- haven't heard any reason why he would have been watching us prior to his being there.

J. REYNOLDS: Well, I'm sure he was watching everything going on here.

K. REYNOLDS: I mean, it's up high, and you know, we work actually, from -- you've all seen where the union is. We worked into every one of our units from that. It's kind of like an alleyway.

MALE REPORTER: What kind of car did he take?

K. REYNOLDS: It was a 2011 Nissan...

J. REYNOLDS: Nissan.

K. REYNOLDS: Haven't really been told what's happened to it yet.


K. REYNOLDS: Yes. All day yesterday. And some today.

MALE REPORTER: So how did (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yourselves? You were able to get...

J. REYNOLDS: Didn't really. What we did is we kind of scooted down while I went up and grabbed the pillow case and pulled it off, trying to with the hands behind.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes. I reached up and got it off his head.

J. REYNOLDS: And then she got her gag off. And then we both worked on trying to stand up.

K. REYNOLDS: He scooted over towards the bedroom door that he closed. But he couldn't get up and couldn't reach -- I mean, we were really bound.

J. REYNOLDS: I couldn't get it open.

K. REYNOLDS: He couldn't get the doorknob. I was able to roll onto my knees and scoot over to the bed and actually get onto my feet. And -- and like kind of shuffled to where he was and got the door open.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did you have cell phone with you that you were able to call?

K. REYNOLDS: We had -- we had taken cell phones -- we had cell phones with us when we went in. We always have our cell phones when we're working out on the property. And -- but I actually thought my cell phone was still in my pocket when he had taken us into the bedroom, but while I was laying there I realized that it wasn't in my pocket. I mean, you know, like I could feel that it wasn't there.

And so I thought, like, while we were on the sofa, he had gotten it out of my coat pocket. So I -- we have an in-house phone, but I couldn't get that to work and I was just working from behind my back. And Jim scooted out into the hallway and told me he had actually hidden...

J. REYNOLDS: When he chased her down the stairs, I stuck my cell phone under the seat cushion of the couch, hoping we could get to it later.

K. REYNOLDS: But actually, I really couldn't figure out how could I get at the cushion and get the cell phone and work with it. But while I was trying to figure out how to do that, I actually looked on the coffee table, and he left my cell phone right on the coffee table, right there. And I sat down and was able to scoot around and work with it and call 911.

FEMALE REPORTER: At the moment that you realized -- at the moment that you realized that this was Christopher Dorner, what went through your mind?

J. REYNOLDS: Thought we were dead. I was scared.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes. I really thought it could be the end. I never even knew my reaction would be to run, but it was. I actually saw him quicker than him somehow and was...

J. REYNOLDS: I was walking behind her, so she was blocking my view. Until she turned and ran, I didn't see his face and then I saw him. And... K. REYNOLDS: And we -- you know, we saw...

J. REYNOLDS: ... was passing him (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I couldn't get out.

K. REYNOLDS: We saw so many pictures of him. And actually while he talked to me he said, "I know you've been seeing the news. I know you know who I am." You know, and was explaining occurrences like the boat incident that had been covered.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did he talk to you about the officers he shot?



SESAY: Well, if you are just joining us, we've been listening to Jim and Karen Reynolds. They were the couple who were tied up in a cabin and held hostage by Christopher Dorner, speaking out for the first time tonight about their ordeal.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" will start shortly, but first we want to bring you the rest of the press conference.


K. REYNOLDS: And he never spoke anything against, you know, like saying, "I'm out after them." But he just had said, you know --

MALE REPORTER: Can you describe to us his demeanor?

K. REYNOLDS: He was always very, very calm.

J. REYNOLDS: Very calm.

K. REYNOLDS: And you really could tell that he was professionally trained. Of course we knew that, too, but really the way he had us do each thing was really -- the best word I can think of is very methodical, like, you know, do exactly this. He was able to wrap our hands and leg pretty easily with those.

MALE REPORTER: He was methodical with you. He was trained, as we know. Did he appear, in your opinion, that he was carrying out a larger plan or more that you had stumbled into him?

J. REYNOLDS: It would appear to me we stumbled into him. He didn't seem to have a plan.

K. REYNOLDS: You know, I think --

FEMALE REPORTER: Did he leave anything behind?

J. REYNOLDS: When we were tied up and laying there, we heard him stuffing something in a bag or backpack. You could hear something being stuffed in a bag.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, he was packing up while we were laying there. FEMALE REPORTER: Any kind of food wrappers that he had been eating there, living there?

K. REYNOLDS: The unit was not real cleaned up when he went in, either. We were doing a whole lot of renovating. But --

J. REYNOLDS: There was a bag of carrots left in the refrigerator.

K. REYNOLDS: There was some milk in the refrigerator. But also everything in it being out. So I don't know if he brought those or if they were still in there because we hadn't gotten upstairs yet.

FEMALE REPORTER: Did he seem --

FEMALE REPORTER: Do you have any marks on your wrist?

J. REYNOLDS: She does, I don't.

MALE REPORTER: Can we see them?


K. REYNOLDS: No, he didn't seem tired or anything. You know, not saying he didn't.


MALE REPORTER: Not to put too fine a point on it, but where do you think the erroneous information about the housekeepers came from?

K. REYNOLDS: I think -- this is really only a guess, but while I was on with 911 operator, while we were in the room right before he was -- when he was really on his way out for the last time, you know, he'd already come in about the key, going out again. I knew he was still in the living room, but I heard noise, thumping, and our laundry room is right below that unit, he goes past it, that's at the landing. And I thought our housekeepers had just gone in there, you know, because I didn't know where exactly what units they were in, and I was scared that they were, you know, like he may have gotten them and put them in there, doing the same thing or something going wrong. So I asked them to call their cell phone.

J. REYNOLDS: We got 911 and we asked them to call --

K. REYNOLDS: When I was with 911, I asked if someone could call them and make sure they're safe. And I think that's how some numbers (ph) have come for people out there. But they weren't in there.

The reason I heard the noise is because, while he was with us, they were in the unit right beside us cleaning.

MALE REPORTER: Now, did you have any guests in any of your units?

K. REYNOLDS: Not at the time that we were with him. We had guests all weekend.

J. REYNOLDS: We were full for the weekend.

K. REYNOLDS: You know, through the whole weekend. But there weren't any - like, we had one guest the night before, but they were checked out before we had gone into that unit.

MALE REPROTER: Did you have working cable and Internet inside that?


MALE REPORTER: So was it safe to say that he was watching --

J. REYNOLDS: There was electricity, water, cable, Internet, TV. Everything.

FEMALE REPORTER: How long have you lived here?

K. REYNOLDS: I never -- 12 1/2 years, yes.

MALE REPORTER: Did you live on the property as well?


MALE REPORTER: Did he have a vantage point from the windows? Did he ever say that?

J. REYNOLDS: He didn't say it.

K. REYNOLDS: No, he didn't talk about that stuff.

FEMALE REPORTER: And again could you just reiterate how long do you think he might have been in there?

K. REYNOLDS: Well, just from him talking to us about seeing how hard workers we were and that we know it was at least through Friday when all that snow was there because he kept talking about how hard we were working at clearing it and that kind of stuff. There wasn't -- he never said anything, like, oh I just showed up after my truck broke down.

J. REYNOLDS: We just had to make a deduction that he had been there since Friday, but we don't know.

K. REYNOLDS: It really sounded like from what he said, he was there from Friday.

J. REYNOLDS: There were no footprints going in or out. So he was there before the snow started.

FEMALE REPORTER: You were go to make an observation about whether he could have seen the command post from that unit.

K. REYNOLDS: I think so, yes. But I don't know if he was ever out there. We never even like stopped and looked at the snow or anything. We didn't even look out on the deck.

MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) because your home is so close to the command post, did you just assume there was no way he would be here?

J. REYNOLDS: Pretty much, yes.


MALE REPORTER: How long do you think from the time that you think he left, did it took you to call 911?

J. REYNOLDS: Probably 15 minutes.

K. REYNOLDS: Probably 15 minutes. It felt like 15 hours with him with us and 15 hours to get to the phone.

MALE REPORTER: What time was that?

K. REYNOLDS: Well, actually, I only think it was 15 minutes from when he left till I got to the phone.

J. REYNOLDS: We went in there around 12:00 -- maybe a little before. Around 20 after when we called 911.

MALE REPORTER: How did you get your hands up to your ear to talk on the phone?

K. REYNOLSD: I didn't. I hit the speaker.

J. REYNOLDS: We couldn't move them.

MALE REPORTER: Why did he leave your cell phone?

K. REYNOLDS: He didn't leave a note. There's been some assumption that he wouldn't want to be tracked but I don't know why he didn't hide it or something. I kind of felt like he left it there for us, to tell you there. It was just some comforting thing I needed at the time.


MALE REPORTER: Why do you think he (INAUDIBLE).

K. REYNOLDS: He was very insistent that --

J. REYNOLDS: He said four or five times he didn't have a problem with us, he just wanted to clear his name. He said I don't have a problem with you so I'm not going to hurt you.

FEMALE REPORTER: So do you have mixed feelings about him?


MALE REPORTER: If you had not called 911 with that vehicle description, he would have gotten away.

J. REYNOLDS: That's why we tried very hard to get up there and call, make sure he didn't.

MALE REPORTER: Did you ask you any questions? Did he try getting any information from you?

J. REYNOLDS: Well, he just asked if we had a car, where is it, that kind of thing.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, he asked all about our car and location of it. But no, I don't recall him asking us anything about anything else.

FEMALE REPORTER: Are you hoping to get any of the million dollar reward?

K. REYNOLDS: Actually, I pretty much -- we're very happy to be alive and that the rest of our family is safe and I've actually pretty much just heard that -- that nobody is getting that because he needed to be captured and convicted and all. And it's -- we didn't even think about any of that until sitting around the sheriff's station, we just kind of started joking about it.

FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think there will be issues going back into that unit?


FEMALE REPORTER: Can you talk aboutxde1 that?

K. REYNOLDS: We're actually --

J. REYNOLDS: Just get a feeling of emotion sometimes, just comes over me. You know, I look at that unit and think about going back in. I mean, over the years, there's times I go in a lot of times in the middle of the night or something, and you just get a strange feeling. And now it's going to be a lot worse.

FEMALE REPORTER: Have you been back in since?


MALE REPROTER: How does it feel be back right now?

K. REYNOLDS: It feels great being out of our apartment for the first time since we got back from the sheriff's office.

MALE REPORTER: When you called 911, what did you say exactly to 911 when you called?

K. REYNOLDS: I said - Donner (sic) is in - oh, Donner (sic) tied us up and he is in Big Bear. And we - started giving our address and he has taken our -- I'm not really positive about any of this. You might hear a replay and it's totally different. Tried to give a description of the car right away.

We -- I had no idea what our license plate was, but pretty much started with that. And then spent a whole lot of time of where we were because it's not an easy one to find. And it felt like forever, too, before they got there, but it probably wasn't that bad.

MALE REPORTER: So ma'am, there marks on your wrist, could you show us? K. REYNOLDS: I don't know if you can see them that well. That's the worst on the wrist and then there's -- these are -- actually, they're getting better. And I had some around my ankles, too, but I'm not going show you those because it's cold.

MALE REPORTER: Can you reiterate what time (ph) you guys got there (INAUDIBLE).

K. REYNOLDS: We think it was just a little bit after 12:00. We really weren't paying much attention to time at all.

J. REYNOLDS: We actually live here so we're all over the place all day, really weren't watching the time.

K. REYNOLDS: It's not even always that he and I go into the unit. I mean, rarely, actually that we go into units. It was just that we were both happened to be needing to go in there for a reason at the same time.

FEMALE REPORTER: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? How long you've been married and how long you've owned the unit (ph).

J. REYNOLDS: We've own this place 12 years. We've been married 36 years.

FEMALE REPORTER: How do you feel about how it all ended yesterday?

J. REYNOLDS: Sad about the deputies.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes. We really want to extend our condolences to the deputies and their families and to their fellow officers. And we also want to thank all the officers who helped us yesterday, even like when we were at the sheriff's station, you know, so many of them really weren't working with us, but all of them would be -- had a lot of comforting words to say. And it was -- it was just a really -- that part was really a good experience for what we've been through. I don't remember the question.

FEMALE REPORTER: How you felt about how it ended.

K. REYNOLDS: How it ended. I was actually quite glad that this can be over for all these policemen and of course all of Southern California people being so fearful of this man being around. I didn't wish him dead, though, at any point. I really didn't. I prayed for him a lot and I'm praying for his family now. And I don't know, it was a tough ending. Just from the beginning of it all to the end, it was awful.

MALE REPORTER: Can I get your names? I'm sorry for the redundancy.

K. REYNOLDS: My name's Karen Reynolds.

J. REYNOLDS: I'm Jim Reynolds.



MALE REPORTER: Thank you for sharing your story and we're sorry if we've added to your anxieties by being here. Thank you.

K. REYNOLDS: Yes, well, thank you. OK. Thank you, everyone.

MALE REPORTER: Good night.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would imagine it could have been Thursday, but I'm telling you at the time there was nobody renting that cabin.

MALE REPORTER: Did you tell individuals --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did not find any forced entry.

FEMALE REPORTER: Do you believe he picked that cabin because it was close to where the station was, where the press conferences were happening? Do you believe he was planning another attack? Or the shoot-out just happened because he got scared?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, at this point, that would be speculative and we'll comment on that later as the investigation unfolds.

MALE REPORTER: We spoke to individuals in that neighborhood who said that nobody ever knocked on their doors, people who lived there. That cabin was a vacation rental. The people who were cleaning it, to rent it out this weekend, just surprised Mr. Dorner there. It doesn't sound like you guys were there and completely cleared that area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell you that the cabin in question had not been rented out since February 6, and as I said, there was an extension search in that area of the cabins. OK, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please understand that there's an ongoing investigation and many of your questions will be answered at a later date.

Now, we're not going to be taking any further questions at this point. Please understand that the PILs (ph) will be summarizing statements made by this department during this press conference and we'll be posting an update to the department Web site as well as sending updates via e-mail.

I'd like to thank you all for coming to our press conference. Thank you once again. That concludes the press conference for today.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, and of course that's the end of the press conference from the San Bernardino sheriff's office. As you can tell, the press had a lot more questions they wanted.

A couple of the headlines on here. Our Miguel Marquez just asked a question there at the end. But you heard them talk about the fact that they are not, at least in their words, "can't absolutely confirm" that the body in the cabin that was found was that of Christopher Dorner.

Let me bring in Miguel now, who is in the room with the press conference. Miguel, obviously a lot -- we didn't get a lot of answers, let's put it that way.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A shockingly short press conference for as many questions as there are hanging out there. Clearly, a sensitive point for the San Bernardino's sheriff's office about how those cabins were searched.

Literally, what is most shocking about this, perhaps, is that Mr. Dorner's truck broke down on a forest road between the two ski valleys here. The cabin where these cleaners, these individuals who own this apartment who were going to clean, where that was -- was less than a mile away. It was also across the street from the communication center and the command center that the sheriffs set up here.

We spoke to people in that area who said that no one ever knocked on their door, no one ever asked if they saw anything change, no one ever came 'round. The owners who own that cabin apparently own several different cabins throughout the area. They rent them out for summer rentals. Why didn't police tell -- or sheriff's department tell individuals, "Make sure your empty cabins, your summer rentals, are secure?"

None of that seemed to have happen and the guy was hiding literally right under their noses. Shocking.

BURNETT: And what's your feeling in terms of when we're going to get answers, Miguel, particularly on this issue of an absolute confirmation on the body? That was something we all anticipated would be done by now. I mean, obviously they say there's no active manhunt, but why not absolute confirmation?

MARQUEZ: We would certainly expect that. I mean, there's no active manhunt. They seem to clearly have indication that it is him, very strong indication it is him. Whether or not it's the family telling them that it's him or it is the scars, tattoos, dental records. Perhaps they wante1 to make that genetic link before they go and tell us with 110 percent certainty that it's him. It's not very clear. He did seem to indicate that they are going to know very, very soon, so perhaps they have dental records on the way and they can make that indication very clear so that people can sort of rest easy.

But at the same time, they say we're almost sure it's him and there is no more search for him. So that kind of answers your question.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, certainly in every way, that would seem to make sense. Thanks very much to you, Miguel, there at the San Bernardino sheriff's office press conference. Let's go back to now to Commissioner Bratton, of course former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. And he was, of course, chief during three years that Christopher Dorner was on the force.

Good to see you. So let me just -- you just heard the press conference. Obviously they weren't able to answer a lot of questions that the media has, that the country has. But this is the fundamental question, and I know it's hard because you weren't there, but do you think it was possible to capture Christopher Dorner alive?

WILLIAM BRATTON, FORMER LAPD POLICE CHIEF: I'm not going to speak to that because I don't have enough details. That press conference was very unusual in terms of the minimal amount of information that was given out considering the large number of questions that are out there. So it's quite obvious over the next several days there's going to be a lot of intense media focus on that department, on this issue, and the answers are going to have to be provided at some point in time.

These investigations are very complicated because there's so many moving parts and, having headed up a number of them over the years, I'm well aware of the complexity. But there are some answers that are going to have to be forthcoming. Otherwise the drum beat of media pressure, public pressure, is going to become very overwhelming directly at this department.

BURNETT: And one thing that there was some questions about and not really answers about was how many negotiations there were. As you know, Miguel was reporting there perhaps might have been cell phone conversations between Dorner and police deputies, though obviously they didn't confirm that tonight.

I wanted to play an exchange, though, over the radio that was between the police, and get your reaction to it. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Control, 61 Lincoln. Sounds like one shot fired from inside the residence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. One shot fired from inside the residence. Confirming you still want fire to roll in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roll in and stage.


BURNETT: So how do you interpret that?

BRATTON: Well, the earlier clip you showed clearly did sound like a war zone.

BURNETT: Which they just described it as war zone.

BRATTON: So I know I was intrigued last night when I first heard about the one shot, with all that was going on. My assumption, and it would be an assumption because there's really not much clarity to the situation at the moment, is that possibly after the building caught fire and the shooting had stopped from within the cabin and the sheriff's deputies outside the cabin, that a single shot could have been heard.

I also heard a report that you might expect with the intensity of that fire that it was ammunition and explosions going on in the cabin itself. The heat gets intense enough, it will set of that ammunition.

BURNETT: So that could've been what you were hearing?

BRATTON: This question or this issue of the single shot, as they move forward with investigation, they're going to have to piece this together literally second by second, minute by minute. They have video that will allow them to do some of the time-frame development. They have the technical capabilities to pull out sounds, if you will.

Because the one-shot speculation is that he committed suicide. That's something that hopefully the autopsy may help to, at least initially, determine how in fact did he die. Did he die from the fire, the smoke? Or was there a gunshot involved?

The intensity of the shooting into that building by the police, understandable in terms of the intensity of the shooting coming out at them, it's quite likely he could have been possibly even wounded during that exchange. Really won't know until that autopsy, those autopsy results come back.

BURNETT: Let me bring in Tom Fuentes, former FBI assistant director, and Cade Courtley, a fromer Navy SEAL and sniper, into this conversation.[

Let me ask you, Tom, what's your -- what is your view of the single- shot theory?

TOM FUENTES, FMR. FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, I would agree with Commissioner Bratton that if there's one shot fired, it could be him committing suicide. It doesn't sound like the police would be firing a single shot. If they were responding to fire, there would be more than one shot. So to me it does sound that that's a good possibility, if in fact that noise was a gunshot.

BURNETT: And Cade, what's your view when you -- you just heard, obbviously, some of the radio communications in terms of the shots, but also some of the conversations the police were having during the final minutes yesterday. Do you think that questions out there surrounding how the police handled this are justified or not?

CADE COURTLEY, FORMER NAVY SEAL/SNIPER: Totally unjustified. Number 1, I would never discredit anybody who was there because I wasn't there. And number 2, for anybody to try and analyze what it's like when there's that volume of fire and you're there and you're receiving fire, to be questioned by anybody who wasn't there, that's -- that's unacceptable.

BURNETT: Do you think, though, that because two police officers had been killed, that in the minds of the police that were there, that dead or alive meant less? I mean, this is someone who had killed their colleagues.

COURTLEY: This person had a manifesto that said he was going to go down in the blaze of glory. Well, be careful what you ask for. This guy had killed four people, allegedly, and had basically told everybody he was not going to be taken alive. So if I was on the ground with that information, I would use all the force I had to end that as quickly as possible.

BURNETT: Tom, what's the bottom line? Will we ever really know what happened and when, or not?

FUENTES: Well, we might not. I mean, the sheriff's office obviously will be doing an intense internal investigation to reconstruct what happened throughout the events, from the time that he fled the road and went to that cabin in particular, and how the tactics worked and what they wanted to do.

At the end of the day, agreeing with your last guest, the subject Dorner did not escape. He didn't kill once you had tactical officers on site and the area contained, perimeter established, no other officers were killed, he didn't escape, and it ended. So the fact that there was no additional loss of life except his, which I attribute to him, he caused his own death, you know, that I would agree, that that's a successful resolution in that sense.

BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to all three of you. We appreciate it.

And still to come, passengers have been trapped for days on that crippled Carnival cruise ship and they're one step closer toe1 rescue tonight but still many hours away. What are we going to see when help arrives?

And two of President Obama's most important Cabinet nominations are facing serious opposition and unexpected opposition, one of the senators threatening to delay a confirmation. Rand Paul is OUT FRONT.