One Officer Killed, Another Injured as Search for Dorner Escalates
UPDATE (4:24 p.m.): One deputy has been confirmed dead and the cabin Dorner is allegedly holed up in has caught fire. The second deputy injured in the search for Dorner is in surgery but is expected to survive. Authorities assume that Dorner has ammunition inside the cabin, but there has been no communication with him yet. Highway 38 has reopened to residents only.
Triple-murder suspect Christopher Dorner was spotted in Big Bear Tuesday afternoon, and was allegedly involved in a home invasion robbery and police shootout.
The home invasion took place on Club View Road in Big Bear.
The suspect tied up the couple living in the home, and fled in their 2008 Dodge pickup truck, San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department officials said.
Cindy Bachman of the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department said in a press release that local police received a stolen vehicle report around 12:20 p.m.
The description of the suspect received by the sheriff's department matched that of triple-murder suspect Christopher Dorner.
Three schools in Big Bear were subsequently put on lockdown: Baldwin Lane, Fallsvale Elementary and Chautauqua.
"The most important thing is the safety of all of our students and the safety of our staff members," Bear Valley Unified School District Superintendent Kurt Madden said.
After being on lockdown for a couple of hours, several of the schools in Madden's jurisdiction lifted the lockdowns.
"We do have a small elementary school that is about 10 miles from where the suspect is right now and they are continuing to remain in a lockdown until we get updated info," Madden said.
All highways into the Big Bear area were shut down and all access to the area has been closed.
The stolen vehicle was spotted at Hwy. 38 and Glass Rd. The suspect fled the vehicle on foot and barricaded himself in a cabin in nearby Angelus Oaks, Bachman said.
"A short time later there was an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement and the suspect," the San Bernadino Sheriff's Deparment Sheriff's said. "SWAT is onscene. Two law enforcement officers are being airlifted to a hospital with unkown injuries."
The two wounded officers were airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and have since been transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
The Federal Aviation Administration sent out an advisory restricting all aircraft from flying over the Big Bear area. All helicopters in the area were asked to push back or leave the scene due to gunfire.
Authorities ignited a smoke grenade to show police the location where murder suspect Christopher Dorner is suspected to be holed up.
In a press conference Tuesday, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said the San Bernadino Sheriff's Department was working to evacuate the Angelus Oaks area where Dorner is said to be hiding.
Smith also said that until the suspect is in custody, he cannot confirm that it is actually Dorner.
Other questions regarding police's plans to take the suspect into custody could not be commented on.
"The individual may be watching TV, and we don't want to tip him," Smith said. "It'll put our officers at an extreme disadvantage."