BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. – The Los Angeles Times reported that a single gunshot was heard as authorities moved into the cabin where Christopher Dorner was believed to be holed up.
According to a law enforcement source, police had broken down windows, pumped in tear gas and blasted a loud speaker urging Dorner to surrender. When they got no response, police deployed a vehicle to rip down the walls of the cabin “one by one, like peeling an onion,” a law enforcement official said.
By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said. Then flames began to spread through the structure, and gunshots, probably set off by the fire, were heard.
Dorner’s body has not been found. The police search will be focused in the basement area, the source said.
A tall plume of smoke was rising from the area where the standoff occurred. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel swooped down on the site near Big Bear after the gun battles between Dorner and officers that broke out in the snow-covered mountains where the fugitive had been eluding a massive manhunt since his truck was found burning in the area late last week.
Law enforcement personnel in military-style gear and armed with high-powered weapons were involved in a tense standoff after Dorner took refuge in the cabin Tuesday afternoon.
One San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy died of his wounds after he and another deputy were wounded in an exchange of gunfire outside the cabin in which hundreds of rounds were fired, sources told The Times. The deputy was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died of his wounds.
The afternoon gun battle was part of a quickly changing situation that began after Dorner allegedly broke into a home, tied up a couple and held them hostage before fleeing with their white pickup truck, authorities said.