Dorner remains ID'd, cause of death still unknown

By: AP
By: AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Investigators determined fairly quickly that the burned human remains found after a shootout in Southern California mountains are those of Christopher Dorner, the ex-police officer suspected in a rampage that left four people dead. But the answer to a second question will likely prove more elusive - how did he die?

Evidence such as descriptions from witnesses and the discovery of personal items, including a driver's license, already led authorities to figure that it was Dorner who exchanged heavy gunfire with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies at a cabin Tuesday, killing one officer. Dorner never left as the cabin as it went up in flames.

But on Thursday the issue was officially put to rest when sheriff-coroner's spokeswoman Jodi Miller announced that dental examination had definitively shown the remains were Dorner's.

Virtually no other information was released. An autopsy report on the charred body was still being completed, and toxicology tests typically take several weeks to return results.

That means questions are likely to linger over which of three ways Dorner may have died: Was it the hail of gunfire that came from the deputies outside? Was it suicide by the single shot that was heard from inside the cabin as the flames began to rise? Or was it the flames themselves that engulfed both Dorner and the cabin?

The cause of the flames has remained in question in the days that followed Dorner's death on Tuesday.

After milder tear gas failed to bring Dorner out, deputies shot pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the cabin that were referred to as "burners" by deputies over the radio during the standoff and by Sheriff John McMahon at a subsequent news conference.

McMahon would only say that the fire broke out immediately after the canisters were sent in, stopping short of saying that they sparked the fire. He added that the burning of the cabin "was not on purpose."

"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," McMahon said.

Another news conference was scheduled for later Friday afternoon, but it was not clear what the department intended to reveal.

Meanwhile, court documents show Dorner gathered information on a women's basketball coach and her fiance before he apparently killed them earlier this month.

The Orange County Register reported that Irvine police believe Dorner researched Monica Quan, 28, and her boyfriend, Keith Lawrence, 27. The records also say Dorner may have had documents containing information about Quan and her family.

Police tied Dorner to the slayings after reading a manifesto he wrote in which he sought revenge against those he believed ended his law enforcement career. Quan's father represented Dorner during a disciplinary hearing.

The search for Dorner began last week after authorities said he had launched a deadly revenge campaign against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing, warning in the manifesto that he would bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families.

The manhunt for Dorner brought police to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, after his burned-out pickup truck was found abandoned last week. His footprints disappeared on frozen soil and hundreds of officers who searched the area and checked out each building failed to find him.

Karen and Jim Reynolds were next to see him inside their cabin-style condo within 100 yards of a command post for the manhunt when they arrived Tuesday to ready it for vacationers.

Dorner, who at the time was being sought for three killings, confronted the couple with a drawn gun, "jumped out and hollered `stay calm,'" Jim Reynolds said at a news conference.

His wife screamed and ran, but Dorner caught her, Reynolds said. The couple said they were taken to a bedroom where Dorner ordered them to lie on a bed and then on the floor. Dorner bound their arms and legs with plastic ties, gagged them with towels and covered their heads with pillowcases.

"I really thought it could be the end," Karen Reynolds said.

The couple believed Dorner had been staying in the cabin at least since Feb. 8, the day after his burned truck was found nearby. Dorner told them he had been watching them by day from inside the cabin as they did work outside. The couple, who live nearby, only entered the unit Tuesday.

"He said we are very hard workers," Karen Reynolds said.

After Dorner fled in their purple Nissan Rogue, Karen Reynolds managed to call 911 from a cellphone on the coffee table.

Police have not commented on the Reynolds' account. But the notion of him holed up just across the street from the command post was shocking to many, though not totally surprising to some experts familiar with the complications of such a manhunt.

"Chilling. That's the only word I could use for that," said Ed Tatosian, a retired SWAT commander for the Sacramento Police Department. "It's not an unfathomable oversight. We're human. It happens."

Law enforcement officers, who had gathered outside daily for briefings, were stunned by the revelation. One official later looking on Google Earth exclaimed that he'd parked right across the street from the Reynolds' cabin each day.

The sheriff's department has refused to answer questions about how one of the largest manhunts in years could have missed Dorner.

Timothy Clemente, a retired FBI SWAT team leader who was part of the search for Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, said searchers had to work methodically. When there's a hot pursuit, they can run after a suspect into a building. But in a manhunt, the search has to slow down and police have to have a reason to enter a building.

"You can't just kick in every door," he said.

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) -- Sheriff says remains found in burned cabin identified as fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

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BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- Karen and Jim Reynolds say they came face to face with fugitive Christopher Dorner, not on a snow-covered mountain trail, but inside their cabin-style condo.

During a 15-minute ordeal just a stone's throw from a command post authorities had set up in the massive manhunt for the ex-Los Angeles police officer, the couple said Dorner bound them and put pillowcases on their heads. At one point, he explained that he had been there for days.

"He said `I don't have a problem with you, so I'm not going to hurt you,'" Jim Reynolds said. "I didn't believe him; I thought he was going to kill us."

Police have not commented on the Reynolds' account, but it renews questions about the thoroughness of a search for a man who authorities declared was armed and extremely dangerous as they hunted him across the Southwest and Mexico.

"They said they went door-to-door but then he's right there under their noses. Makes you wonder if the police even knew what they were doing," resident Shannon Schroepfer said. "He was probably sitting there laughing at them the whole time."

The search for Dorner began last week after authorities said he had launched a deadly revenge campaign against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing, warning that he would bring "warfare" to LAPD officers and their families.

The manhunt brought police to Big Bear Lake, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, where they found Dorner's burned-out pickup truck abandoned. His footprints disappeared on frozen soil and hundreds of officers who searched the area and checked out each building failed to find him.

The notion of him holed up just across the street from the command post was shocking to many, but not totally surprising to some experts familiar with the complications of such a manhunt.

"Chilling. That's the only word I could use for that," said Ed Tatosian, a retired SWAT commander for the Sacramento Police Department. "It's not an unfathomable oversight. We're human. It happens. It's chilling (that) it does happen."

Law enforcement officers, who had gathered outside daily for briefings, were stunned by the revelation. One official later looking on Google Earth exclaimed that he'd parked right across the street from the Reynolds' cabin each day.

The Reynolds said Dorner was upstairs in the rental unit Tuesday when they arrived to ready it for vacationers. Dorner, who at the time was being sought for three killings, confronted the Reynolds with a drawn gun, "jumped out and hollered `stay calm,'" Jim Reynolds said during a Wednesday night news conference.

His wife screamed and ran downstairs but Dorner caught her, Reynolds said. The couple said they were taken to a bedroom where he ordered them to lie on a bed and then on the floor. Dorner bound their arms and legs with plastic ties, gagged them with towels and covered their heads with pillowcases.

"I really thought it could be the end," Karen Reynolds said.

The couple believes Dorner had been staying in the cabin at least since Feb. 8, the day after his burned truck was found nearby. Dorner told them he had been watching them by day from inside the cabin as they did work outside. The couple, who live nearby, only entered the unit Tuesday. "He said we are very hard workers," Karen Reynolds said.

After he fled in their purple Nissan Rogue, she managed to call 911 from a cellphone on the coffee table. Police said Dorner later killed a fourth person, a sheriff's deputy, during a standoff, and died inside the burning cabin where he took cover during a blazing shootout.

While authorities have not corroborated the couple's account, it matched early reports from law enforcement officials that a couple had been tied up and their car stolen by a man resembling Dorner. Property records showed the Reynolds as the condo's owners.

As coroners work to confirm that the body found inside the cabin was Dorner, the San Bernardino County sheriff has refused to answer questions about how one of the largest manhunts in years could have missed him.

During the search, heavily armed deputies went door to door to search roughly 600 cabins for forced entry. Many of the cabins were boarded-up summer homes.

Authorities said officers looked for signs that someone had forcibly entered the buildings, or that heat was on inside in a cabin that otherwise looked uninhabited.

Helicopters had landed SWAT officers in a lot near the Reynolds' condo, and through the weekend they stood in plain view from the cabin, gearing up in helmets, bulletproof vests, with assault weapons at the ready.

According to the Reynolds, the cabin had cable TV, and a second-story view that would have allowed him to see choppers flying in and out.

Timothy Clemente, a retired FBI SWAT team leader who was part of the search for Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, said searchers had to work methodically. When there's a hot pursuit, they can run after a suspect into a building. But in a manhunt, the search has to slow down. "You can't just kick in every door," he said. Police have to have a reason to enter a building.

Officers would have been approaching each cabin, rock and tree with the prospect that Dorner was behind and waiting with a weapon that could penetrate bulletproof vests. In his manifesto posted online, Dorner, a former Navy reservist, said he had no fear of losing his life and would wage "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" and warned officers "you will now live the life of the prey."

Even peering through windows can be difficult because officers have to remove a hand from their weapons to shade their eyes. Experts said it is likely officers may have used binoculars to help examine homes from a distance, especially when dealing with a man who had already killed three people, including a police officer.

In many cases, officers didn't even knock on the doors, according to searchers and residents.

"If Chris Dorner's on the other side of the door, what would the response be?" Clemente said. "A .50 caliber round or .223 round straight through that door."

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DEVELOPING NEWS UPDATE 9:23pm:
Source inside LA mayor’s office confirms that body inside burned Big Bear, Cal. cabin is Christopher Dorner - NBC News.

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BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) -- The extraordinary manhunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of three murders converged Tuesday on a mountain cabin where authorities believe he barricaded himself inside, engaged in a shootout that killed a deputy and then never emerged as the home went up in flames.

A single gunshot was heard from within, and a charred body was found inside.

If the man inside proves to be Christopher Dorner, as authorities suspect, the search for the most wanted man in America over the last week would have ended the way he had expected - death, with the police pursuing him.

Thousands of officers had been on the hunt for the former Navy reservist since police said he launched a campaign to exact revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing. They say he threatened to bring "warfare" to officers and their families, spreading fear and setting off a search for him across the Southwest and Mexico.

"Enough is enough. It's time for you to turn yourself in. It's time to stop the bloodshed," LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said 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.

A short time after Smith spoke Tuesday, smoke began to rise from the cabin in the snow-covered woods near Big Bear Lake, a resort town about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. Flames then engulfed the building - images that were broadcast on live television around the world. TV helicopters showed the fire burning freely with no apparent effort to extinguish it.

"We have reason to believe that it is him," said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman, adding that she didn't know how the fire started. She noted there was gunfire between the person in the cabin and officers around the home before the blaze began.

Until Tuesday, authorities didn't know whether Dorner was still near Big Bear Lake, where they found his burned-out pickup last week.

Around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, deputies got a report of a stolen pickup truck, authorities said. The location was directly across the street from where law enforcement set up their command post on Thursday and not far from where Dorner's pickup was abandoned. The owner of the vehicle taken Tuesday described the suspect as looking similar to Dorner.

A warden for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife traveling down Highway 38 recognized a man who fit Dorner's description traveling in the opposite direction. The officer pursued the vehicle and there was a shooting at 12:42 p.m. in which the wildlife vehicle was hit numerous times and the suspect escaped on foot after crashing his truck.

After holing up in the cabin, there was a second gunbattle with San Bernardino County deputies, two of whom were shot. One died and the other was expected to live after undergoing surgery.

"We're heartbroken," Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte said of the deputy's death and the wounding of his colleague. "Words can't express how grateful we are for the sacrifice those men have made in defense of the community and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families."

The man believed to be Dorner never came out of the cabin, and a single shot was heard inside before the cabin was engulfed in flames, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The official later told the AP that a charred body was found in the burned cabin. The official requested anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Officials were waiting for the fire to burn out before approaching the ruins to search for a body.

Police say Dorner began his run on Feb. 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 the 6-foot, 270-pounder described as armed and "extremely dangerous," police say, Dorner unsuccessfully tried to steal a boat in San Diego to flee to Mexico and opened fire on two patrol cars in Riverside County, shooting three officers and killing one.

Jumpy officers guarding one of the targets named in the rant shot and injured two women delivering newspapers Thursday in Torrance because they mistook their pickup truck for Dorner's.

Police found weapons and camping gear inside the charred truck in Big Bear. 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 anger 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 the rant that he was the subject of racism by the department and fired for doing the right thing.

He said he would get even with those who wronged him as part of his plan to reclaim his good name.

"You're going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!" the rant said. "You have awoken a sleeping giant."

Chief Charlie Beck, who initially dismissed the allegations in the rant, said reopened the investigation into his firing - not to appease the ex-officer, but to restore confidence in the black community, which long had a fractured relationship with police that has improved in recent years.

One of the targets listed in the manifesto was former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who represented Dorner before the disciplinary board. Dorner claimed he put the interests of the department above his.

The first victims were Quan's daughter, Monica Quan, 28, a college basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27. They were shot multiple times in their car in a parking garage near their Orange County condo.

Dorner served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.

He left the service on Feb. 1.
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DEVELOPING NEWS UPDATE 9:08pm:
AP: Charred body found in rubble of burned cabin in S. California mountains where police believed Christopher Dorner was holed up.

PREVIOUS STORY:

BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) -- The man believed to be fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner never came out of a California mountain cabin, and a single shot was heard inside before the cabin was engulfed in flames, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The law enforcement official requested anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

A fourth person - a deputy - died earlier in the latest confrontation with America's most-wanted man, which seemed to be coming to an end.

Officials were waiting for the fire to burn out before approaching the ruins to search for a body.

"We have reason to believe that it is him," San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said.

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 east of Los Angeles.

Bachman didn't say how the fire started but noted there was gunfire between the person in the cabin and law enforcement officers around the home before the blaze began.

TV helicopters showed the fire burning freely with no apparent effort to extinguish it.

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 Cmdr. 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 lower tensions among the more than 40 targets police say he listed in an online rant.

Until Tuesday, authorities didn't know whether Dorner was still near Big Bear, where they found his burned-out pickup last week.

Around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, deputies got a report of a stolen vehicle, authorities said. The location was directly across the street from where law enforcement set up their command post on Thursday and 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 the cabin.

The first exchange of gunfire occurred about 12:45 p.m.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement that one of its officers traveling down Highway 38 recognized a man who fit Dorner's description traveling in the opposite direction.

The wildlife officer pursued the vehicle and there was a shooting in which the wildlife vehicle was hit numerous times and the suspect escaped on foot.

There was then a second exchange with San Bernardino County deputies, two of whom were shot. One died and the other was expected to live after undergoing surgery.

"We're heartbroken," Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte said of the deputy's death and the wounding of his colleague. "Words can't express how grateful we are for the sacrifice those men have made in defense of the community and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families."

Police say Dorner began his run on Feb. 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 the 6-foot, 270-pounder described as armed and "extremely dangerous," police say, Dorner 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 the targets named in the rant in Torrance on Thursday shot and injured two women delivering newspapers because they mistook their pickup truck for Dorner's.

Police found charred weapons and camping gear inside the truck in Big Bear.

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 anger 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 the rant that he was the subject of racism by the department and fired for doing the right thing.

He said he would get even with those who wronged him as part of his plan to reclaim his good name.

"You're going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!" the rant said. "You have awoken a sleeping giant."

Chief Charlie Beck, who initially dismissed the allegations in the rant, said he would reopen the investigation into his firing - not to appease the ex-officer, but to restore confidence in the black community, which long had a fractured relationship with police that has improved in recent years.

One of the targets listed in the manifesto was former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who represented Dorner before the disciplinary board. Dorner claimed he put the interests of the department above his.

The first victims were Quan's daughter, Monica Quan, 28, a college basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27. They were shot multiple times in their car in a parking garage near their condo.

Dorner served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.
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BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) -- A man police believe to be the fugitive ex-Los Angeles officer wanted in three killings was barricaded inside a burning cabin Tuesday after a shootout in a California mountain town 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 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 Cmdr. 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 didn't know whether he was still near Big Bear, where they found his burned-out pickup last week.

Around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, deputies got a report of a stolen vehicle, authorities said. The location was directly across the street from where law enforcement set up their command post on Thursday and 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.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller said the first exchange of gunfire involved state Fish and Wildlife wardens at 12:42 p.m., and then there was a second exchange with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, two of whom were shot.

Police say Dorner began his run on Feb. 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 the 6-foot, 270-pounder described as armed and "extremely dangerous," police say, Dorner 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 the targets named in the rant in Torrance on Thursday shot and injured two women delivering newspapers because they mistook their pickup truck for Dorner's.

Police found charred weapons and camping gear inside the truck in Big Bear.

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 anger 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 the rant that he was the subject of racism by the department and fired for doing the right thing.

He said he would get even with those who wronged him as part of his plan to reclaim his good name.

"You're going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!" the rant said. "You have awoken a sleeping giant."

Chief Charlie Beck, who initially dismissed the allegations in the rant, said he would reopen the investigation into his firing - not to appease the ex-officer, but to restore confidence in the black community, which long had a fractured relationship with police that has improved in recent years.

One of the targets listed in the manifesto was former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who represented Dorner before the disciplinary board. Dorner claimed he put the interests of the department above his.

The first victims were Quan's daughter, Monica Quan, 28, a college basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27. They were shot multiple times in their car in a parking garage near their condo.

Dorner served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.

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BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) -- A fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer sought in three killings was believed barricaded in a cabin Tuesday after a furious gunbattle with police in the snow-covered mountains of Southern California, authorities said, the culmination of an intensive manhunt that left a region on edge for nearly a week.

Two officers were injured and were being airlifted to a hospital, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. One has since died according to KNBC Los Angeles.

Officers have been swarming the snow-covered Big Bear region since Thursday, when they found the burned-out pickup truck of Christopher Dorner. The former Navy reservist killed a former police captain's daughter and her fiance and a Riverside officer, and injured two other officers, police said, promising to bring "warfare" to Los Angeles police and their family members.

But, until Tuesday, authorities didn't know whether Dorner was still near Big Bear or had fled, and thousands of officers were searching for him across three states and Mexico.

At a midafternoon news conference, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said he could not confirm whether Dorner was in the cabin but urged the fugitive to surrender.

"Enough is enough," Smith said. "It's time for you to turn yourself in. It's time to end the bloodshed."

The developments in the nearly weeklong massive manhunt began about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday when deputies in the Big Bear area got a report of a stolen vehicle in the area, the sheriff's office said. The people whose vehicle was stolen described the suspect as looking similar to Dorner.

When authorities found the vehicle, 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.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller said the gunfight began with California Department of Fish and Wildlife game wardens at 12:42 p.m. Tuesday, which is about 20 minutes after a vehicle was reported stolen nearby.

After the initial exchange, there was a second battle with San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies, two of whom were wounded, he said.

Authorities have not released information on the extent of their injuries.

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. It's not clear if that's the same person who called police about the carjacking.

Road blocks were set up around Big Bear.

The shootout occurred in Seven Oaks off Highway 38, about five miles as the crow flies from where Dorner's pickup was found. A ridge with peaks topping 8,000 feet lies between the locations. By road, the two areas are about 30 miles apart.

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.

He said he would get even with those who wronged him in an event to reclaim his good name.

"You're going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!" he wrote. "You have awoken a sleeping giant."

Chief Charlie Beck, who initially dismissed the allegations in Dorner's rant, said he would reopen the investigation into his firing - not to appease the ex-officer, but to restore confidence in the black community, which long had a fractured relationship with police that has improved in recent years.

One of the targets listed in the manifesto was former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who represented Dorner before the disciplinary board. Dorner claimed he put the interests of the department above his.

The first victims were Quan's daughter, Monica Quan, 28, a college basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27, who were shot multiple times in their car in a parking garage near their condo.

Dorner served in the Navy, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal. He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records. He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007.


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