Other Articles in this Category
Most Viewed Stories
Big Bear cabin where Dorner was believed hiding burns
A cabin where a former officer sought in connection to three killings is believed to have entered into a standoff with authorities has burned to the ground, but not before a gunfight between the fugitive and law enforcement left one officer dead and another injured.
The condition of the man barricaded in the cabin, who was believed to be Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, is not immediately known, with authorities saying the structure is too dangerous to enter. Authorities stopped short of officially confirming that the man is Dorner.
"We still believe he was inside the cabin when it caught fire," said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andrew Smith just after 8 p.m. said authorities had not been able to enter the wreckage of the cabin. Smith flatly denied reports of a body being found or an official identification taking place.
The cabin is still smoldering and too hot to enter, with live ammunition believed to be inside, Bachman said.
"It's a huge crime scene," Bachman said. "I anticipate (the investigators) being here most of the night."
A man matching the description of Dorner, a former LAPD officer and Navy reservist who became the target of an intense manhunt after the shooting deaths of an Irvine couple and a Riverside police officer, was seen Tuesday afternoon by authorities investigating reports of a stolen vehicle about 12:20 p.m.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife warden driving on Highway 38 about 12:45 saw the vehicle, a purple Nissan, going in the same direction, Fish and Wildlife Lt. Patrick Foy said.
Authorities have not confirmed reports that Dorner tied up a pair of housekeepers in a Big Bear residence during a home invasion robbery near where the Nissan was stolen.
The warden attempted to make a u-turn to follow the Nissan, but his viewpoint was blocked by two school buses and he didn't see the vehicle turn onto Glass Road, Foy said. Several other wardens responded to help search for the Nissan on Glass Road.
Authorities believe that Dorner crashed the Nissan, then carjacked a white pickup. A warden saw him driving the second vehicle, at which point authorities say Dorner rolled down the window of the vehicle and fired at the warden with a handgun, striking the warden's vehicle multiple times.
The warden stopped and returned fire, Foy said. No one was struck.
Authorities believe Dorner abandoned the second vehicle and fled on foot, barricading himself into a cabin.
A subsequent gunbattle between the man and police left two law enforcement officers injured.
The officers were airlifted to a hospital.
Authorities say one of the officers died, while the other officer was in surgery and is expected to survive.
Law enforcement officials surrounded the cabin, as several prolonged volleys of gunfire could be heard.
The cabin was engulfed in flames about 4:20 p.m., followed by reports of a single gunshot heard inside the structure.
Law enforcement officials are waiting for the fire to die down before searching the remains of the cabin.
The fire at the cabin was started by gasoline, Bachman said, but it wasn't immediately known who ignited the blaze.
In comments made at LAPD headquarters Tuesday evening, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offered his thoughts and support to the officers struck by gunfire in San Bernardino.
"Our prayers are with their families and the people of San Bernardino," Villaraigosa said.
VENDETTA AGAINST LAW ENFORCEMENT
The standoff at the cabin comes six days into an intense manhunt across Southern California for Dorner, who is believed to be targeting law enforcement officers and their families as part of a vendetta against his former LAPD colleagues.
Irvine police on Thursday identified Dorner, 33, as their prime suspect in the slayings of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, a newly-engaged couple who were found shot to death in a parking garage at an Irvine apartment complex on Feb. 3.
Authorities believe that Dorner targeted Quan to retaliate against her father, a retired LAPD captain who represented Dorner during the board of review hearing that led to his dismissal from the department.
In the hours after he was identified as a suspect in the Irvine double-murder, Dorner is believed to have shot at three officers. One of the officers, 34-year-old Michael Crane, was killed, while the other two were injured.
Dorner in an online manifesto declared "asymmetrical warfare" against the LAPD, claiming that he was fired for false pretenses by a department he accused of corruption and prejudice. LAPD officials in recent days have decided reopen the investigation into Dorner's firing, a decision they say was not meant to "appease" Dorner, but to foster transparency.
The Riverside District Attorney's Office on Monday became the first agency to file criminal charges against Dorner, including murder and attempted murder.
A MASSIVE MANHUNT
In the aftermath of the Riverside officer's death, authorities began a massive dragnet across Southern California, which Dorner managed to evade for six days.
The manhunt initially focused on Big Bear Lake, where Dorner's abandoned, burnt-up truck was found on Thursday morning. More than 100 officers braved the cold temperatures and falling snow in the remote mountainous terrain during a days' long search for Dorner.
The trail had appeared to go cold in recent days, however, with the number of officers searching Big Bear being scaled back significantly.
With authorities offering $1 million for Dorner's capture and conviction, the largest such reward in LAPD history, hundreds of tips were reported to a joint task force searching for the fugitive.
False sightings were reported across Southern California, from San Diego to Anaheim to Northridge. But until Tuesday afternoon there had been no trace of Dorner since early Thursday.
Early Tuesday the search for Dorner had appeared to lead south of the border, with reports of Mexican authorities searching a Tijuana hotel after receiving a tip that he was there. That tip also turned out to be false.
According to a federal arrest warrant, a man matching Dorner's description tried to steal a boat in San Diego about 3 a.m. Thursday. Dorner's wallet and identification cards were found near the U.S.-Mexico boarder at the San Ysidro point of entry.
The warrant indicated that U.S. Marshals suspected that Dorner could have fled to Mexico.
With Dorner targeting police officers and their families, and with his background of law enforcement and Navy training, the manhunt left agencies across Southern California on edge.
Agencies adjusted their deployment of officers, assigning two officers per patrol vehicle, pulling out motorcycle details and suspending parking-enforcement officers as a precaution.
Police officials targeted in Dorner's manifesto, as well as their families, were assigned protective details. LAPD officials on Tuesday night indicated that the protective details will continue until they confirm that Dorner is either dead or in custody.
The manhunt also resulted in police opening fire on two occasions on trucks driving in an area where a protected LAPD official lives. On Thursday, two women were shot in one of the trucks but are expected to recover. The same day, the driver in another truck was not struck by gunfire but reported he was injured when a patrol car rammed his vehicle.
The federal search warrant revealed authorities that have been keeping track of some of Dorner's associates, including a person referred to only as "J.Y."
The search warrant – filed the day Dorner is suspected of shooting at two patrol cars in Riverside County, killing one officer and injuring two others – does not state that "J.Y." has assisted Dorner in any way. It states "J.Y.'s" family owns property in Arrowbear, near where Dorner's truck was found burning in a wooded area. It also states U.S. marshals kept track of "J.Y.", who was found that same day in Costa Mesa.
Speaking to reporters outside LAPD headquarters Tuesday, Nieman said he would not comment on associates of Dorner's connected to the manhunt or if Dorner had attempted to reach out to anyone since Thursday.
"This investigation has to stick with what we know," he said.