Feb 12, 2013 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) – The man believed to be fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner never came out of a California mountain cabin, and a single shot was heard inside before the cabin was engulfed in flames, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
The law enforcement official requested anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Officials were waiting for the fire to burn out before approaching the ruins to search for a body.
“We have reason to believe that it is him,” San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said.
Bachman didn’t say how the fire started but noted there was gunfire between the person in the cabin and law enforcement officers around the home before the blaze began.
TV helicopters showed the fire burning freely with no apparent effort to extinguish it.
Excerpted from The Los Angeles Times: The cabin where fugitive former law enforcement officer Christopher Jordan Dorner was holed up is on fire as authorities try to determine whether the murder suspect is dead or alive.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Department officials said officials are trying to determine Dorner’s whereabouts. It’s unclear whether police have been able to get into the cabin.
Law enforcement sources said “a tactical operation” was underway at the cabin but did not provide additional details. A spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department said gunfire was heard just before the fire began.
A tall plume of smoke was rising from the area where the standoff occurred. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel swooped down on the site near Big Bear after the gun battles between Dorner and officers that broke out in the snow-covered mountains where the fugitive had been eluding a massive manhunt since his truck was found burning in the area late last week.
Law enforcement personnel in military-style gear and armed with high-powered weapons were involved in a tense standoff after Dorner took refuge in the cabin Tuesday afternoon.
One San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy died of his wounds after he and another deputy were wounded in an exchange of gunfire outside the cabin in which hundreds of rounds were fired, sources told The Times. The deputy was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died of his wounds.
The afternoon gun battle was part of a quickly changing situation that began after Dorner allegedly broke into a home, tied up a couple and held them hostage before fleeing with their white pickup truck, authorities said.
Then Dorner was allegedly spotted by a state Fish and Wildlife officer in the pickup truck, sources said. A vehicle-to-vehicle shootout ensued. The officer’s vehicle was peppered with multiple rounds, according to authorities.
Dorner crashed his vehicle and took refuge in a nearby cabin, sources said. One deputy was hit as Dorner fired out of the cabin and a second deputy was injured when Dorner exited the back of the cabin, deployed a smoke bomb and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee. Dorner was driven back inside the cabin, the sources said.
During the unprecedented manhunt, officers had crisscrossed California for days pursuing the more than 1,000 tips that poured in about Dorner’s possible whereabouts — including efforts in Tijuana, San Diego County and Big Bear — and serving warrants at homes in Las Vegas and the Point Loma area of San Diego.
SEVEN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — The cabin quadruple-murder suspect Christopher Dorner is believed to be holed up in is now fully engulfed in flames, according to KCAL9?s Carter Evans.
LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith Tuesday urged Dorner to turn himself in as a gun battle and barricade situation raged on in San Bernardino County.
“Enough is enough. It’s time to turn yourself in. End the bloodshed,” Smith said, adding that Dorner, who allegedly shot and killed his fourth victim — a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy — Tuesday afternoon, is holed up in a Seven Oaks cabin.
Dormer is also accused of shooting a second deputy, who was undergoing surgery after being airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Smith, who says Dorner likely has access to television and other media outlets, requested that media helicopters pull out of the area.
The San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office also asked that reporters in the area to refrain from tweeting about the ongoing situation.
The sheriff has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately. It is hindering officer safety. #Dorner—
SB District Attorney (@sbcountyda) February 12, 2013
Dorner reportedly broke into a couple’s home and tied them up — possibly days ago — before stealing their vehicle and fleeing the scene Tuesday afternoon.
He was spotted by authorities around 1:30 p.m. and repeated gunshots were exchanged on Glass Road. KCAL9?s Carter Evans, who was reporting nearby, is safe despite loud gunfire that could be heard during his live report.
Dorner then fled into a forested area and barricaded himself in a cabin. A SWAT team was also called in to set up a perimeter around the area.
The earlier incident at a home in the 1200 block of Club View Road, which is located near Highway 38 and Glass Road, was reported at 12:22 p.m. One of the victims was able to escape and alert authorities, who later recovered a rifle and possibly a can of gas.
“The reporting party said the suspect took their vehicle and described the suspect as looking very similar to Dorner,” a Sheriff’s Public Affairs spokesperson said in a statement.
Dorner was then spotted driving a 2008 four-door, white Dodge 4X4 truck, which is registered to nearby Camp Tahquitz.
Highway 38, as well as all roads in and out of Big Bear, have been shut down.
Bear Valley Unified School District confirms all four of its schools — Big Bear High School, Chautauqua High School, Baldwin Lane Elementary School and Fallsvale Elementary School — have been locked down and an evacuation center has been set up.
Authorities had recently reduced the number of law enforcement officers patrolling the Big Bear area from several hundred to just 30.
Dorner, 33, is accused in the revenge killings of 28-year-old Monica Quan and her 27-year-old fiancé, Keith Lawrence, in Irvine on Feb. 3.
He was employed as a Los Angeles police officer from 2005 to 2008, when he was fired for making false allegations against a fellow officer. Quan’s father, a former LAPD Captain, represented Dorner in the hearing that ultimately lead to his dismissal from the force. Dorner was named as a suspect in the deaths of Quan and Lawrence on Feb. 6.
He’s also wanted in the ambush murder of Riverside police officer Michael Crain, who was shot to death in his patrol car on Feb. 7. Crain’s partner was also critically injured.
Dorner’s burned out truck was found near Bear Mountain later that day.