RIVERSIDE – A fired Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with the slayings of two people in Irvine and a Riverside police officer allegedly exchanged gunfire today with law enforcement authorities in Big Bear, killing a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another, after apparently tying up two people and stealing a vehicle.
The possible burned body in the cabin is belived to Dorners. The cabin is still burning and it’s to hot for anyone to go near it. No body has been found.
Both of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where one was pronounced dead, according to Sheriff John McMahon. As of late afternoon, the second deputy was in surgery, but he was expected to survive, McMahon said.
Meanwhile, suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner was believed to be holed up inside a Big Bear cabin, which caught fire late this afternoon not long after tear gas canisters were fired into the building. Gunfire could be heard coming from the cabin as it burned, possibly ammunition exploding due to the flames.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said deputies received a report around 12:20 p.m. that a person matching Dorner’s description stole a vehicle from a home in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.
A witness told ABC7 that the suspect had tied up two people inside the home — possibly a housekeeper and her daughter — and stole a vehicle. It was unclear exactly how long Dorner may have been in the cabin.
The vehicle was spotted a short time later on Highway 38 near Glass Road, Bachman said. A state Fish and Wildlife official told KCAL9 that wardens spotted Dorner and tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop and opened fire on the wardens, who were not injured, before fleeing on foot.
A witness told Channel 9 that Dorner apparently came out of the woods and carjacked a man driving silver pickup truck, which was later seen down an embankment in a wooded area. A massive police pursuit led to a cabin off Highway 38 where the suspect barricaded himself and engaged in a major gun battle with officers, Bachman said. Some reports indicated that hundreds of rounds were fired — leading to the shooting of the two San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies.