Feb 13 2013
A man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings has been barricaded inside a burning cabin after a shootout in a California mountain town Tuesday that left one deputy dead and another wounded.
The developments raised the possibility that the nearly week-old hunt for America's most wanted man might be coming to an end.
The cabin was on fire and smoke was coming from the structure in the late afternoon after police surrounded it in the snow-covered woods of Big Bear, a resort town about 80 miles (129km) east of Los Angeles.
Authorities have focused their hunt for Christopher Dorner there since they said he launched a campaign to exact revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing. Authorities say Dorner threatened to bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families, spreading fear and setting off a search for him across three states and Mexico.
"Enough is enough. It's time for you to turn yourself in. It's time to stop the bloodshed," LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said earlier in the day at a news conference held outside police headquarters in Los Angeles, a starkly different atmosphere than last week when officials briefed the news media under tight security with Dorner on the loose.
If the man inside the cabin does prove to be Dorner, it will both lower tensions among the more than 40 targets police say he listed in an online rant. It would also raise them for law enforcement officers who are engaged in a standoff with a former Navy reservist who has warned that he knows their tactics as well as they do.
Until Tuesday, authorities did not know whether he was still near Big Bear, where they found his burned-out pickup last week. Around 12:20pm local time on Tuesday, deputies received a report of a stolen vehicle, authorities said. The location was not far from where Dorner's burned-out pickup was abandoned.
The people whose vehicle was stolen described the suspect as looking similar to Dorner. When authorities found the vehicle, the suspect ran into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin.
Police say Dorner began his run on February 6 after they connected the slayings of a former police captain's daughter and her fiance with an angry Facebook rant they said he posted. Threats against the LAPD led officials to assign officers to protect officers and their families.
Within hours of the release of photos of Dorner, described as armed and "extremely dangerous," police say, the suspect 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.