Christopher Dorner was engaged in a shootout with federal authorities in the Big Bear area Tuesday, a law enforcement source told The Times.
"Hundreds of rounds" were exchanged in about half an hour during the gun battle between fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner and law enforcement officers Tuesday afternoon, sources said.
At least two San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were wounded, sources said. Their conditions were not immediately known.
Days ago, Dorner broke into a cabin off Route 38, a source said. He allegedly tied up the couple inside and held them hostage until Tuesday morning when he left. It is unclear whether Dorner stole their vehicle or another, but Fish and Wildlife officers knew to be on the lookout for a white pickup truck when they spotted Dorner driving one and attempted to stop him, the source said.
Dorner crashed the truck during the ensuing chase and allegedly exchanged gunfire with the officers as he fled into another cabin, where he was quickly surrounded by San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies. 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.
There was initial confusion as to where a helicopter should land to evacuate the injured officers, so deputies used their own smoke bombs to provide enough cover to carry the wounded to a pickup truck that took them to the waiting helicopter.
Officers have crisscrossed California for days pursuing the more than 1,000 tips that poured in about Dorner's possible whereabouts — including efforts in Tijuana, Mexico, San Diego County and Big Bear — and serving warrants at homes in Las Vegas and Point Loma.
Statewide alerts were issued in California and Nevada, and border authorities were alerted. The Transportation Security Administration also issued an alert urging pilots and other aircraft operators to keep an eye out for Dorner.
At the search's height, more than 200 officers scoured the mountain, conducting cabin-by-cabin checks. It was scaled back Sunday — about 30 officers were out in the field Tuesday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said.
Dorner allegedly threatened "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against police in a lengthy manifesto that authorities say he posted on Facebook. The posting named dozens of potential targets, including police officers, whom Dorner allegedly threatened to attack, according to authorities.
His alleged slayings began Feb. 3 with the deaths of Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a USC public safety officer. Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain whom Dorner allegedly blamed in part for his firing from the force in 2009.
While on the run Thursday, Dorner allegedly shot three police officers in Riverside County, killing one and wounding the others. Riverside Officer Michael Crain, 34, a married father of two who served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the Marines, was killed in the attack.
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