Christopher Dorner Shootout Reported In Big Bear

See our latest: Christopher Dorner Is Dead? Seems Likely.

Updated at the bottom with a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy dead following a shootout, other details. First posted at 1:13 p.m.

Authorities were searching for Christopher Dorner after a possible sighting and shootout in Big Bear.

Reports, including one from the Associated Press, indicate a law enforcement shootout with a suspect early this afternoon after Dorner might have been seen in the area in a white pickup truck.

There were also indications that a couple had been tied up:

Authorities blocked highway 38 in a search for Dorner.

We reached out to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for information but officials were in a meeting.

[Added at 1:40 p.m.]: ABC Eyewitness News reported that there might have been law enforcement personnel injured in a shootout with a suspect who looked like Dorner following a possible carjacking of a white pickup in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.


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On KCAL9, the shooting was apparently happening live shortly before 1:40 p.m. Officers were telling a deputy to take cover.

Officials told ABC7 that the suspect crashed that truck and had been on foot.

[Added at 1:45 p.m.]: KCAL9 says it has confirmed that two sheriff's deputies have been wounded.

[Added at 2:02 p.m.]: Here's a map of the standoff area:


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[Update at 2:10 p.m.]: It looks like Dorner is in a standoff with authorities, holed-up in a cabin.

Reports indicate that two, and as many as three, law enforcement officials, including two deputies and one state Fish and Wildlife officer, were injured in an initial shootout with a suspect.

The Dodge truck believed to have been carjacked can be seen in news helicopter shots. It reportedly crashed before a suspect took off on foot and then holed up.

[Update at 2:14 p.m.]: The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department sent a statement to the Weekly and other outlets confirming what has happened so far:

Christopher Dorner Shootout Reported In Big Bear
Ted Soqui for LA Weekly

On Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 12:22 p.m, deputies working the Big Bear area search for Christopher Dorner responded to the 1200 block of Club View Dr. for a reported stolen vehicle. The reporting party said the suspect took their vehicle and described the suspect as looking very similar to Dorner. Deputies immediately began a search on the ground and from the air for the vehicle.

The vehicle was located at Hwy. 38 and Glass Rd. The suspect fled 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. Sheriff's SWAT is on scene.

Two law enforcement officers are being airlifted to a local hospital with unknown injuries.

[Added at 2:22 p.m.]: The San Bernardino sheriff's department is asking news choppers to pull back because they could be in danger and because they could be broadcasting images that would hinder officer safety:

Sheriff McMahon has asked that your helicopters pull back or leave the area of the barricaded suspect. Gunfire is being exchanged between law enforcement and the suspect; your personnel are in danger and could contribute to officer safety on the ground. Thank you for your cooperation.

[Added at 2:55 p.m.]: A witness who says he's a relative of a couple tied up by a suspect told ABC7 that the pair was not injured and that "all he wanted was the car."

The suspect allegedly took the car. The couple's cabin, he said, was near the Bear Mountain resort and not far from where Dorner's pickup was found burning and abandoned Thursday morning.

A state Fish and Wildlife official says one of the department's officers then spotted a truck with someone fitting the description of Dorner and shot it out with a suspect. During that shootout, nobody was injured, the spokesman said.

It appears that a second shootout with deputies happened after that vehicle was found a few miles away.

[Added at 3:12 p.m.]: In a strange story of law enforcement behind the scenes, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith this afternoon said the department had sent personnel to a San Bernardino County airport where they remained, waiting for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's incident commander to ask for their help.

They're "waiting for authorization from the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department to assist them."

A joint task force formed to hunt for Dorner included the LAPD, the FBI, Irvine police and Riverside police but not the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

[Update at 3:58 p.m.]: Several reports say one of the two San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies injured in the shootout has died.

Fox 11 News says one of its reporters knows the officer and that his wife recently had a baby.

The other deputy was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Loma Linda Medical Center. We reached out to a Loma Linda spokesman for more info but had yet to hear back.

The hospital was supposed hold a news conference shortly.

[Added at 4:12 p.m.]: A law enforcement source confirmed to the Weekly that a deputy has died.

ABC Los Angeles says traffic headed down the mountain was allowed to move through without law enforcement checks for the first time since the shootout.

[Update at 4:28 p.m.]: As cops appeared to storm a cabin where the suspect was believed to be holed up, San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon confirmed that one of his deputies died in a firefight.

He told reporters in the Big Bear area that after deputies came across the truck with a suspect who looks like Dorner inside, they got into a firefight.

"He crashed the car and then took off into the forest" following a "brief" exchange of gunfire, the sheriff said.

The other deputy was in surgery but "should be fine."

Another official told the media that the LAPD was indeed at the scene.

[Added at 5:03 p.m.]: San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindi Bachman gave reporters at the scene more info about how the confrontation with the suspect unfolded.

She said that at 12:22 p.m. or so cops got a call from a "reporting party" stating that a "vehicle had been stolen from their home" and that the suspect "matched the description of Christopher Dorner."

Deputies "actively working the search" came across the vehicle and "began to surround the area," she said.

"The suspect," she said, had "abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot into the forest."

He barracaded himself in a cabin. At that time there was an exchange of gunfire ... Two deputy sheriffs were shot. One of them died. ... The deputies that were shot were part of the search efforts to find Dorner.

[Update at 5:28 p.m.]: The state Department of Fish and Wildlife tonight clarified its role in today's clash with a suspect believed to be Dorner.

It says one of its officers in the area was the first to come across a suspect in an allegedly stolen truck when the cop gave chase and gunfire erupted. This appears to have happened shortly before sheriff's deputies became involved (see above).

Here's the Fish and Wildlife statement:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division offered assistance last Sunday to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office in the search for Christopher Dorner. Six CDFW officers have been involved in the search since that time.

Approximately 12:45 p.m., a CDFW officer traveling down Highway 38 recognized a man who fit Dorner's description in a car traveling in the opposite direction. The wildlife officer pursued the car, and a shooting ensued.

The CDFW vehicle was shot numerous times. The suspect escaped on foot. There was an immediate call for backup, which included law enforcement officers from CDFW and other agencies.

CDFW officers are all safe and accounted for at this time. They are still on scene and will continue to participate in the search until it concludes.

[Added at 5:53 p.m.]: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during an early evening press conference that "our hearts and prayers are with the San Bernardino County deputy who was shot and killed today. Our prayers are with their families and the people of San Bernardino County."

He said he wanted to thank all cops on the Dorner manhunt "for their bravery."

See our latest: Christopher Dorner Is Dead? Seems Likely.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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