Cabin burns down with Dorner likely inside. Authorities act as if fugitive is dead, but won't confirm. Deputy killed in shootout *

Numerous updates below
angelus-oaks-map.jpg

Media are all over a sighting of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner in the Angelus Oaks area along highway 38 about 20 miles down the hill from Big Bear. He may have held two women hostage and stolen a four-wheel drive vehicle. CBS2 aired the audio of a shootout with sheriff deputies. Dorner may be holed up in a cabin now. Live on all TV news and local web outlets, but lots of conflicting info swirling.

CBS2 reporters are saying that heavily armed authorities are heading up highway 38 toward Angelus Oaks, and others are staging along the highway uphill from the community. CBS 2 says they have been told by San Bernardino County authorities that Dorner is believed to be pinned down in a cabin.

Updates as we get them.

2:38 pm: CBS2 helicopter reporter says the local sheriff has moved the media choppers up to 13,000 feet, which is oxygen territory (and very cold.) They are also supposed to keep five miles away from the Angelus Oaks area. About all we can show you are pine trees and snow, the chopper guy says. The pilots have also been asked not to show any police staging on the ground.

2:57 p.m. Drivers are not being allowed up highways 38 or 330 into the mountains.

3:05 p.m. LAPD spokesman Andy Smith said at downtown LA briefing that today's events began with a report of a stolen vehicle in the Big Bear area at 12:22 p.m. He said that the suspect was spotted in a stolen vehicle along Highway 38 at Glass Road. The suspect, believed to be Dorner, fled from the vehicle into a home beside the highway and got into a shootout in which two deputies were wounded. They were airlifted to a hospital in the flats. Smith also said the LAPD has made teams available to San Bernardino County if asked to assist in whatever ensues later this afternoon or tonight. The first sighting of Dorner in the stolen vehicle was reportedly made by a state Fish and Wildlife officer.

Also this shocker: There are reports that Dorner holed up over the weekend in a cabin in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in the Big Bear area, taking a couple hostage — right across the street from the San Bernardino County command post where the search for Dorner was conducted. He fled the cabin this morning, using the stolen vehicle.

From the LA Times:

Dorner is now surrounded by police inside a Big Bear area cabin after allegedly getting into a gun battle that left two San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies wounded.


The source said one deputy was hit as Dorner fired out of the cabin and a second was injured when Dorner exited the back of the cabin, deployed a smoke bomb and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee. Dorner was driven back inside the cabin, the source said.

The extent of the deputies’ injuries was unknown. There was initial confusion about where a helicopter should land to evacuate the injured officers. Deputies used their own smoke bombs to provide enough cover to carry the wounded to a waiting pickup truck that took them to the waiting helicopter.

A longtime resident of Angelus Oaks tells NBC4 that no one lives year-round in the vacation home that Dorner has invaded.

3:50 p.m. A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy shot today by Dorner has died, according to media reports. This would be a second killing of a local law enforcement officer since Dorner began his killing spree, in addition to the couple killed in Irvine.

5 p.m. The cabin in the Seven Oaks area where Dorner was holed up has burned down. The fire began shortly after officers fired tear gas into the cabin. CBS2 reporter Carter Evans, who was at the scene of the shootout outside the cabin several hours ago, has described the fire and says almost nothing remains of the cabin and that deputies on the scene have relaxed their guard a bit. Officials are not certain whether Dorner was in the cabin when it burned down, or somehow escaped back into the forest.

San Bernardino County spokeswoman Cindy Bachman confirmed that a deputy died at Loma Linda Medical Center. Another wounded deputy is in surgery but is expected to survive.

5:50 p.m. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, outside LAPD headquarters, expressed remorse at death of the San Bernardino County deputy today. He said any further details on the fire, shootout and hunt for Christopher Dorner would come from San Bernardino officials.

Highways 330 and 38 reopened into the San Bernardino Mountains.

The LA Times managing editor for digital, Jimmy Orr, claims in a tweet that the Times has an "exclusive" reporting that a single gunshot was heard as officers moved into the cabin. What the Times has: "According to a law enforcement source, police had broken down windows, pumped in tear gas and blasted a loud speaker urging Dorner to surrender. When they got no response, police deployed a vehicle to rip down the walls of the cabin 'one by one, like peeling an onion,' a law enforcement official said. By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said. Then flames began to spread through the structure, and gunshots, probably set off by the fire, were heard."

6 p.m.: CBS 2 goes to State of the Union set-up, but KCAL 9 remains live with the Dorner story.

6:20 p.m.: KTLA says that Mayor Villaraigosa, outside LAPD headquarters, essentially said the Dorner episode was over but that news would come from San Bernardino officials. Channel 5 anchor Cher Calvin says "we believe" that Dorner is dead inside the cabin, but without official confirmation. In LA, TV channels 2, 4, 7 and 11 went to the State of the Union speech. KTLA 5 and KCAL 9 are still on the Dorner story.

Also, KTLA says that the two women taken hostage in Big Bear were a cleaning crew who entered a cabin and found Dorner there. He tied them up, took their vehicle and fled. So maybe they were just held starting today — but the location is right in the middle of the original search area.

9 p.m.: LAPD spokesman Andy Smith came out and said there is no confirmation that Dorner's body is in the burned out cabin. San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said the same up in Angelus Oaks, insisting that no officials have entered the cabin and thus no body has been recovered. But she added that they do believe a body is inside the cabin, and that it's the suspect who stole two cars today, got in a shootout with state Fish and Wildlife wardens on Glass Road in Angelus Oaks, then fled into the cabin and exchanged gunfire with deputies. She noted that the car theft victims reported it was Dorner.

Fish and Game Lt. Patrick Foy, speaking in Angelus Oaks, also said his warden recognized Dorner and gave chase. He said wardens first spotted the suspect driving a purple Nissan, then lost him. A few minutes later separate wardens saw Dorner driving a white pickup on Glass Road, and that he took a shot at the wardens when he passed them. That's when a first shootout ensued and Dorner fled into the cabin, Foy said.

LAPD Chief Beck told the LA Times tonight: "People on the scene are as confident as they can be without seeing the body that it is Dorner inside.” But he said protective details would remain on the targets threatened by Dorner until his death is confirmed.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Weird story o' the day: Dorner's mom at bar watching standoff
Cabin burns down with Dorner likely inside. Authorities act as if fugitive is dead, but won't confirm. Deputy killed in shootout *
Greuel goes up with another TV spot, on waste theme
Unfortunate ad placement o' the day
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.12.13
Recent Crime stories on LA Observed:
Weird story o' the day: Dorner's mom at bar watching standoff
Cabin burns down with Dorner likely inside. Authorities act as if fugitive is dead, but won't confirm. Deputy killed in shootout *
Dorner could be in Mexico — and may have had help
Video shows Dorner buying scuba gear in Torrance
$1 million reward offered for Dorner information

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