Listen below as police officers in Big Bear engage in a gun battle with former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. Dorner wass reportedly holed up in a cabin outside of Big Bear, California. The cabin later burned to the ground after police fired tear gas into the building and then heard a single gunshot.
The gun battle (watch video below) reportedly broke out after Dorner allegedly broke into a house in the Big Bear area, tied up the couple and eventually stole their car, according to the LA Times. CBS News reports that Fish & Game wardens originally engaged Dorner, followed by other law enforcement officers. Two deputies were shot.
Former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner touched off a massive manhunt last week after killing an Irvine, California couple and shooting three police officers, killing two. If caught, he reportedly faces the death penalty, but his manifesto reporting corruption and brutality in the LAPD has also attracted significant attention given the department’s history.
Dorner’s first victims, Monica Quan (an assistant basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton) and Keith Lawrence (Quan’s fiancé and a public safety officer at USC) were apparently targeted because Dorner blamed Quan’s father for his ousted from the LAPD in 2009. Police have searched as far south as Tijuana and as far east as Las Angeles, as authorities operated on information that he attempted to cross the border into Mexico or fled to Nevada, though Big Bear City — where the firefight is underway — is west and slightly north of Los Angeles. Dorner’s burning pickup truck was discovered there last week.
UPDATE (6:08 pm ET): At the LAPD’s daily presser, Commander Andrew Smith told the press that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office received a call about a stolen vehicle at 12:22 PT by an individual who was said to look like Dormer. When the vehicle was located, the suspect exited and fled into the forest, holing up in a cabin and exchanging gunfire with officers. Two officers were injured and airlifted to the hospital, but there is no information yet about their conditions. Neither the San Bernardino Sheriff’s office nor the LAPD can confirm that the suspect holed up in the cabin is Dorner.
UPDATE (6:51 ET): The LA Times reports that one of the officers shot this afternoon by Dorner has died of his wounds. Law enforcement sources told the LA Times separately that there were “hundreds” of rounds fired in the shoot-out and that the officers had to be rescued under smoke cover by other officers, loaded into a pickup truck and only then airlifted to a hospital.
UPDATE: (7:20 ET): CBS reporter Carter Evans witnessed the cabin that the police had surrounded catch on fire after hearing tear gas shells, but police officers remained in place. He reported hearing one gunshot after the fire started.
UPDATE: (7:23 ET): The San Bernardino County sheriff’s office confirmed that one of the deputies shot by the man they believe to be Dorner has died of his wounds. He also confirmed that the gun battle commenced after the man they believe to be Dorner crashed his vehicle and fled into the woods. They also confirmed that other law enforcement agencies from surrounding areas, including LAPD, are on the ground outside of Big Bear where they believe Dorner remains.
UPDATE: (8:50 ET): The Associated Press also reported that the person inside the cabin believed to be Dorner did not come out of the cabin and that that an anonymous law enforcement official said that a single gun shot was reportedly heard from the cabin before it was decimated by flames.
UPDATE (9:40 pm): CBS News’s John Miller reports that they’ve been told by law enforcement sources that a body has been removed from the cabin and law enforcement believes it to be the body of Dorner. The cabin’s owners earlier told police that the cabin was empty today.
UPDATE: (11:00 pm): LAPD has said that no body was recovered from the cabin after all, despite reports, and protective details will continue.
UPDATE: (12:00 am): San Bernardino police confirmed that law enforcement had not yet been able to enter the cabin, but they expected to recover a body once it was safe to do so. They still cannot confirm whether it was Dorner.
Watch video of the gun battle as captured by CBS News’ Carter Evans below:
[This post was updated after publication as the situation unfolded.]