California: Police Swarm Cabin in Hunt for Ex-Cop Killer

U.S. sheriff's deputy dies after a shootout with fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner, who was barricaded in a mountain cabin.

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Elad Benari,

Handout photo of shooting suspect Christopher
Handout photo of shooting suspect Christopher

A SWAT team moved in on a California mountain cabin Tuesday, where former cop and triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner was thought to be hiding, CNN reported, as a fire burned in the area.

Flames and smoke could be seen rising, possibly from the cabin near the ski resort of Big Bear, as CNN reported that tear gas had been fired into the cabin before officers moved in.

Ammunition may have exploded inside the cabin, where the 33-year-old Dorner was thought to be barricaded after a shootout in which one sheriff's deputy was killed and another injured.

The afternoon gun battle in which hundreds of rounds were exchanged 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, according to the LA Times.

Dorner was then allegedly spotted by state officers in the pickup truck, sources said. A vehicle-to-vehicle shootout ensued. The officers' vehicle was peppered with multiple rounds, according to authorities.

Dorner crashed his vehicle and took refuge in a nearby cabin, sources said. One deputy was hit as Dorner fired out of the cabin and a second deputy 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 sources told the LA Times.

Last week, Los Angeles police launched a full-scale manhunt for Dorner, who had posted a chilling online warning about "terminating" the life of a colleague he blamed for his dismissal and threatening other police and their families.

The LA Police Department (LAPD) increased protection for a number of people named in an online manifesto by Dorner, who was already wanted over the suspected revenge killing on Sunday of a couple, Keith Lawrence and Monica Quan, who was the daughter of Randy Quan, a retired police officer he blamed for his firing.

On Sunday, Los Angeles announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s capture..

"We will not tolerate anyone undermining the security, the tranquility of our neighborhoods and our communities," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference announcing the reward.

"We will not tolerate this reign of terror that has robbed us of the peace of mind that residents of southern California deserve. We will not tolerate this murderer remaining at large," he said.

The LAPD has said it would reopen a probe that led to Dorner’s dismissal.