Killer cop in cabin shootout

A fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer wanted for three killings is barricaded in a cabin in the Southern California mountains, authorities said today.

Killer cop in cabin shootout

A fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer wanted for three killings is barricaded in a cabin in the Southern California mountains, authorities said today.

Someone in the Big Bear Lake area reported a stolen vehicle and described the suspect as looking very similar to Christopher Dorner.

The vehicle was found and the person ran into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin.

Authorities say a short time later there was an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement and the suspect.

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

Dorner, a former US Navy reservist who went on the run on February 6, has vowed to bring ``warfare'' to the Los Angeles Police Department that sacked him five years ago.

It’s not clear which agency the two wounded agents belong to, State Fish and Wildlife Assistant Chief Dan Sforza said.

It’s also believed Dorner committed a residential burglary of a cabin where a couple was tied up, an officer said. 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 pick-up truck was found there last Thursday.

A KCAL-TV reporter in the Angelus Oaks area along Highway 38 reported gunfire in his vicinity.

The noise of the gun battle 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.

Dorner began his run from the law after authorities connected the murders of a former police captain’s daughter and her fiance with an angry manifesto against the LAPD that they said Dorner posted on Facebook. The posting 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 man 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 shot and injured two women delivering newspapers last Thursday because they mistook their pick-up truck for Dorner’s.

The hunt for Dorner appeared to go cold after his burned-out vehicle 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 was not 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 grievances with the department date back at least five years, when he was sacked 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 sacking – 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 captain Randal Quan, who represented Dorner before the disciplinary board. Dorner claimed he put the interests of the department above his.

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

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.

In a brief news conference, LAPD confirmed that authorities believe the suspect is Dorner.

Commander Andrew Smith asked the media not to broadcast live reports because the person in the cabin might be watching television and urged Dorner to surrender, saying: “Enough is enough.”

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