Law enforcement officials in San Bernadino County cornered a person they believe to be accused killer and former LAPD police officer Christopher Dorner. Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press a man engaged in a shootout that killed a deputy and then never emerged as the home went up in flames. See below for updates as the story developed Tuesday.
Read the full story here.
The cabin where police last saw Christopher Dorner has been on fire for almost an hour; local fire officials still are not battling the flames for safety reasons.
County Fire units are stagged on a structure fire in the Barton Flats. Due to safety our units have not been able to attack the fire.
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) February 13, 2013
Here is an aerial photo of the fire:
San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said in an 8 p.m. EST press conference that police do not know when the burning cabin will be investigated or when nearby roads will open.
Bachman said she could not confirm that Dorner was in the cabin and that she can not say how the fire began. No shots have been fired since the house began to burn, and police are not fighting the fire.
Bachman did confirm that the sheriff’s deputy shot during this afternoon’s exchange died at Loma Linda Medical Center. The other officer is in surgery and expected to live, she said.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Candy Martin was sitting down for an episode of “Walking Dead” with her daughter when she turned on the news and saw her Big Bear-area vacation cabin surrounded by police amid reports of a shootout involving the wanted fugitive Christopher Dorner.
Her son called police to let them know she was the owner of the 85-year-old cabin, one in a cluster of seven cabins that she owns along California 38 near the community of Seven Oaks. Martin talked to police, telling them the cabins were supposed to be empty Monday and had no cable, phone or Internet service. There were also no firearms inside, she said.
“I was basically in a state of shock,” Martin said.
Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith gave a brief update on the situation at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Because San Bernardino police are leading the operation, and because law enforcement officials fear that Dorner could be watching the news, Smith declined to go into much detail. But some information that he was able to share included:
- At 12:22 p.m., San Bernardino police and officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were on the hunt for Dorner in the woods around Big Bear City when a game warden spotted a white pick-up truck matching the description of the one Dorner reportedly stole.
- Dorner crashed the truck, fled into the forest near Highway 38 and Glass Road and barricaded himself in a nearby cabin. Officers pursued him and they exchanged fire; two were injured and airlifted to a local hospital. Their condition was not available at the time of the press conference.
- Smith said the LAPD moved “resources” to the airport, awaiting further authorization from the San Bernadino police, but he would not specify what those resources were. He would not confirm that Dorner had taken hostages earlier in the day.
- Asked if he had a message for Dorner, Smith said: “Enough is enough. Time to stop the bloodshed.”
- LAPD are pursuing 1,045 tips they’ve received since placing a reward for information on Dorner. The cabin is surrounded.
Police have asked media reporting on the Dorner situation to avoid reporting specific details and aerial photos of their operations out of fear that Dorner himself may be watching.
The official request of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, as read on air by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, asked that “all the helicopters pull back, relieve the area of the barricaded suspect. Gunfire is being exchanged and your personnel are in danger.” Later the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ban on all aircraft near the scene, beside those belonging to law enforcement.
Dorner reportedly holed up in Angelus Oaks cabin, which is completely surrounded. Police told media to cut their aerial video feed.
— @SBcountyNow (@SBcountyNow) February 12, 2013
Streaming audio of the police scanner has also been taken down and replaced with a message reading: “Status: 8-MTN-1, 8-MTN-2 have been taken off the scanner to ensure officer safety during the manhunt.”
Police believe Christopher Dorner is holed up in a rental cabin in the San Bernadino National Forest south of Big Bear City.
The location near Route 38 is based on reports from local CBS affiliate KCAL.
The area is remote and mountainous, popular for winter sports. It’s part of the Barton Flats, visible in the bottom right corner of this U.S. Forest Service park map.