(LOS ANGELES) — Fugitive former cop Christopher Dorner has barricaded himself inside a mountain cabin near Big Bear, Calif., and exchanged gunfire with police who had pursued him after he broke into a home in the area, authorities said.
Two cops were airlifted from the scene after being wounded in the exchange of gunfire with the suspect.
Dorner is believed to have broken into a home nearby and taken two women hostage before stealing a car, police said. Officials say Dorner crashed the vehicle and fled on foot, where sheriff’s deputies and Department of Fish and Wildlife officers exchanged fire with him, before he barricaded himself in a cabin.
The two women were evaluated by paramedics and were determined to be uninjured.
Police have sealed all roads going into the area and imposed a no-fly zone above the cabin, which is in a wooded area that has received several inches of snow in recent days.
Four Big Bear area schools were briefly placed on lockdown.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stopped all traffic leaving the area and thoroughly searched vehicles, as SWAT team and tactical units could be seen driving toward the cabin, their sirens blaring.
Authorities believe Dorner may be watching reports of the standoff and have asked media not to broadcast images of police surrounding the cabin.
“If he’s watching this, the message… is: Enough is enough. It’s time to turn yourself in. It’s time to stop the bloodshed. It’s time to let this event and let this incident be over,” Los Angeles Police spokesman Andy Smith told reporters at a press conference.
Dorner faces capital murder charges that involve the killing of Riverside police officer Michael Crain, who was gunned down in an ambush last Thursday.
Since then a massive manhunt has been underway, focused primarily in the San Bernardino Mountains, but extending to neighboring states and as far away as Mexico.
A capital murder charge could result in the death penalty if Dorner is captured alive and convicted.
The charges do not involve the slayings of Monica Quan and her fiance, who were found shot to death Feb. 3. Quan was the daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who was mentioned as a target of Dorner’s fury in his so-called “manifesto,” which he posted on his Facebook page.
In the 6,000 word “manifesto,” Dorner outlined his anger at the Los Angeles Police Department for firing him, and made threats against individuals he believed were responsible for ending his career with the police force five years ago.
The LAPD has assigned 50 protection details to guard officers and their families who were deemed possible targets.
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