BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Rick Heltebrake says he instantly recognized the man who carjacked his truck as Christopher Dorner and says the man was calm and didn't want to hurt him.
Heltebrake says he was on a road near Big Bear Lake yesterday when Dorner emerged from a grove of trees holding a large, assault-style rifle. Dorner was clad in camouflage from head to toe and wearing a bulletproof vest packed with ammunition.
As teams of officers closed in on the ex-Los Angeles police officer, Dorner pointed the gun at Heltebrake and ordered him out of his truck.
Heltebrake recalls Dorner saying, "I don't want to hurt you. Start walking and take your dog."
Dorner then got into the truck and drove off. Heltebrake, with his 3-year-old Dalmatian in tow, called police when he heard a volley of gunfire erupt soon after.
A short time later, police had caught up with the man they believed was Dorner, surrounding a cabin he had taken refuge in after taking Heltebrake's truck. It burned to the ground. Coroners are examining remains believed to be Dorner's.
A day after the carjacking, Heltebrake recalls Dorner as not wild-eyed, but almost professional. He says Dorner was "on a mission."