Report: Chris Dorner engaged in police shootout in Big Bear

A man believed to be fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner exchanged dozens, if not hundreds, of rounds of gunfire with law enforcement near Big Bear early Tuesday afternoon.

One deputy was killed in the shootout, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department confirmed. A second was wounded and taken to surgery, but expected to survive.

Dorner holed up in a cabin in an isolated area of Angelus Oaks, an unincorporated town 30 miles west of Big Bear Lake.

The cabin was engulfed in flames early Tuesday evening and smoke poured out of it.

In this image taken from video provided by KABC-TV, the cabin near Big Bear where ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner is believed to be barricaded inside is in flames Tuesday, Feb. 12. (AP Photo/KABC-TV)

Officers moving toward the cabin heard a single gunshot before tearing through the walls of the cabin, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

A body believed to be Dorner’s was found inside the burned cabin, according to multiple major media outlets shortly before 7 p.m.

His “charred body [was] found in rubble of burned cabin,” the Associated Press said shortly after 7 p.m., citing a law enforcement source.

However, Los Angeles police spokesman Cmdr. Andy Smith said at an 8 p.m. press conference: “That cabin is still too hot for anybody to make entry. There has been no body located inside of that cabin.”

Authorities believe the body is still inside, San Bernardino Sheriff’s spokesman Cindy Bachman said about 8:45 p.m.

See our complete coverage of the Dorner case here.

We’re continuing to post minute-by-minute updates here and via @TDSKateM:

EARLIER: Dorner broke into a cabin and held two people, according to the Associated Press. A woman called police about 12:30 p.m. to report that she had been tied up in her Club View Road home, and there were two other people inside the home, the Press-Enterprise reported.

12:22 p.m. San Bernardino sheriff’s got a call about a stolen vehicle, with a thief whose description matched Dorner’s, Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Cmdr. Andy Smith said.

A state Department of Fish and Wildlife officer spotted Dorner on Highway 38 driving in the opposite direction, the Los Angeles Times reports.

No one was hit in an initial exchange of gunfire, and Dorner got out of his car and ran before a second round of gunfire started, a Fish and Game official told KCAL9.

1 p.m. “Two officers are down,” several outlets report based on dispatcher traffic.

1:16 p.m. The Associated Press tweets that Dorner exchanged gunfire with Southern California authorities.

The shootout is in or near Angelus Oaks, an unincorporated town in San Bernardino County about 30 miles west of Big Bear City.

Redlands police officers are part of a blockade near the entrance to the San Bernardino National Forest on Tuesday, Feb. 12. (AP Photo/The Sun, Gabriel Luis Acosta)

1:20 p.m. “All routes coming off the San Bernardino mountain (Big Bear area) are being closed due to police activity for unknown duration,” the state Department of Transportation tweets.

1:34 p.m. KCAL9, the Los Angeles-based CBS affiliate, had a reporter caught near gunfire. The station aired live audio of what sounds like hundreds of rounds of gunfire and yelling.

1:37 p.m. KCAL9 reports that Dorner “is cornered” after “hundreds of rounds of gunfire” off Glass Road and Highway 38.

1:49 p.m. An ambulance has arrived to the isolated cabin scene. The condition of the two deputies hit is still unclear, KCAL 9 reports on air.

2:07 p.m. Dorner is “holed up in a cabin,” and authorities are trying to figure out how to get him out, KCAL9 reports.

2:13 p.m. The cabin is “completely surrounded” in Angelus Oaks, KCAL reports.

2:36 p.m. The two injured deputies have been airlifted to Loma Linda, a Los Angeles Times reporter tweets. Their condition is unknown.

3 p.m. The Los Angeles Police Department addressed the shooting during its daily press briefing and said it is available when called on.

LAPD continues to follow up on 1,045 tips related to Dorner, even as the scene unfolds in the Big Bear area, commander said.

3:20 p.m. A Desert Hot Springs police unit is spotted heading toward the scene. One officer who is part of a special task force has been assigned, Cmdr. Ken Peary told The Desert Sun.

Other valley police said their help has not been requested, though members of the SWAT team are on standby if mutual aid is requested, Cathedral City police Capt. Chuck Robinson said.

Law enforcement personnel search a vehicle along Highway 38 in Yucaipa on Tuesday, Feb. 12. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

3:45 p.m. The state Department of Transportation issues a notice that roads are closed going up San Bernardino Mountains. State Routes 18 (front and backside), 330 and 38 are closed “until further notice.”

4:05 p.m. Riverside County Peace Officers’ Memorial posts on Facebook: “PLEASE JOIN THE RCPOMF IN PRAYER THAT THIS COMES TO A QUICK END WITH NO FURTHER LOSS OF LIFE – OTHER THAN THE KILLER – IF NEED BE!”

4:20 p.m. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department confirms that one deputy died of wounds suffered in the shootout.

A second deputy was in surgery on Wednesday afternoon but expected to survive. Spokesmen declined to release any details about the deputies

4:27 p.m. Peace Officers Research Association of California posts on Facebook: “Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters behind the badge as we hear news that we have just lost another officer. Please stay safe out there.”

 4:31 p.m. A Los Angeles News Group reporter was among those tweeting that a SWAT team has killed Dorner. The Desert Sun has not confirmed this report.

5:01 p.m. Congressman Paul Cook, who represents the Big Bear area, issued the following statement:

“My heart goes out to the officers and their families during this terrible tragedy and loss of life. We should never forget that law enforcement officers put their lives on the line on a daily basis. I want to commend all of the front-line law enforcement officers and San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon for their perseverance in tracking this dangerous fugitive. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this senseless crime.”

5:27 p.m. The Associated Press issues news alert saying that Dorner never left the cabin that went up in flames. It cites an anonymous law enforcement source.

5:52 p.m. The CBS affiliate in Los Angeles reports that “tracks were found leading to a horse corral,”

6 p.m. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio speaks about the families of victims during an interview on KNX 1070 radio.

Villaraigosa said: “Thank God for them this ordeal is over.”

6:42 p.m. A senior correspondent for CBS reports that a body believed to be Dorner’s was found inside the burned cabin.

ABC News tweets separate but identical report several minutes later.

 

A recap of why Dorner is wanted

Police say the killing spree started Feb. 3, when a couple in a parking garage at their Irvine condominium were shot to death.

Police believe Dorner next shot and grazed an officer in Corona and then used a rifle to ambush two Riverside police officers at a stoplight early Thursday, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

Dorner — a former Los Angeles police officer accused in a revenge killing spree — was charged Monday with the Feb. 7 murder of that officer.

More than 100 officers have been hunting the Big Bear area for Dorner, whose truck was found there last Thursday.

See our complete coverage of the Dorner case here.