Official: 2 officers hurt in gunfight with ex-cop at center of California manhunt
A fugitive ex-Los Angeles cop sought in three killings was barricaded in a cabin in the in the San Bernardino Mountains on Tuesday after a shootout with authorities that wounded two officers.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says two law enforcement officers are being airlifted to a local hospital with unknown injuries.
Deputies in the Big Bear area looking for Christopher Dorner responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the area about 12:20 p.m., the sheriff's office said.
The people whose vehicle was stolen described the suspect as looking very similar to Dorner.
The vehicle found and the suspect, believed to be Dorner, ran into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin. A short time later there was an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement and the suspect.
It's not clear which agency the two agents wounded belong to, State Fish and Wildlife Assistant Chief Dan Sforza told KCAL.
It's also believed Dorner committed a residential burglary of a cabin where a couple was tied up, an officer told The Associated Press.
The officer requested anonymity because the officer was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
One of the people was able to get away and make a call.
The area is in the Big Bear region where a search for Dorner has been under way since his pickup truck was found there Thursday.
A KCAL-TV reporter in the Angelus Oaks area along Highway 38 reported gunfire in his vicinity.
The noise of the gunbattle was broadcast by the station, whose reporter suddenly found himself near the fight. Someone could be heard yelling at the reporter to get out of the area.
Road blocks were up around Big Bear.
The former Navy reservist began his run from the law on Feb. 6 after authorities connected the slayings of a former police captain's daughter and her fiance with an angry manifesto they said Dorner posted on Facebook. He vowed to bring "warfare" to Los Angeles police and their family members, which led the department to assign officers to guard more than 50 families connected to his so-called targets.
Within hours of the release of photos of the 6-foot, 270-pounder described as armed and "extremely dangerous," Dorner allegedly unsuccessfully tried to steal a boat in San Diego to flee to Mexico and then ambushed police in Riverside County, shooting three and killing one.
Jumpy officers guarding one of his targets in Torrance on Thursday shot and injured two women delivering newspapers because they mistook their pickup truck for Dorner's.
The hunt for Dorner appeared to go cold after his burned-out pickup was found later that morning in the mountains east of Los Angeles and his footprints disappeared on frozen ground.
Police found charred weapons and camping gear inside the truck, but it wasn't clear if he had fled into the San Bernardino Mountains near the resort town of Big Bear Lake or left the area.
Helicopters using heat-seeking technology searched the forest from above while scores of officers, some using bloodhounds, scoured the ground and checked hundreds of vacation cabins — many vacant this time of year — in the area. A snowstorm hindered the search and may have helped cover his tracks, though authorities were hopeful he would leave fresh footprints if hiding in the wilderness.
Dorner's beef with the department dated back at least five years, when he was fired for filing a false report accusing his training officer of kicking a mentally ill suspect. Dorner, who is black, claimed in his manifesto that he was the subject of racism by the department and fired for doing the right thing.
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