Rick Heltebrake came face-to-face with the multiple murder suspect, mere moments before Dorner’s last stand inside a cabin in Seven Oaks.
“I saw the sheriff’s and Fish & Game units coming up the road, and they looked like they were heading out on their way to something,” Heltebrake recalled.
“So I’m basically just driving down the road — it’s about a mile and a quarter to the bottom where my camp ends. Checked everything out.”
“I started driving back up the road. I got to about to within a half-mile of the highway or so and I saw some movement in the trees on the left side in the snow,” he said.
“And here comes this guy with a big gun,” he described. “And it was Christopher Dorner, and I knew who it was right away.”
“I saw a vehicle kind of crashed behind him, like maybe the vehicle he stole from Big Bear, and he lost control, went into the snowbank,” Heltebrake said.
“And he just kind of came out of the snow at me with his gun at my head.”
“I stopped, put my hands up,” he recalled. “He said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you. Just get out and start walking up the road.’”
“He looked at my dog who was in the passenger seat, said take your dog and just start walking.”
Heltebrake complied, and started walking up the road with his hands up.
“I got a little ways up the road, out of his sight, and not more than 10 seconds later, I heard a loud round of gunfire,” he said. “Ten to 20 rounds maybe.”
What he heard was an exchange of gunfire between Dorner and Fish and Wildlife officers.