Triple murder fugitive Christopher Dorner is currently engaged in a massive gun battle with police in the Southern California mountains just below Big Bea Lake where the suspect’s burned out car was found last week. During the afternoon gun battle that started on California State Highway 38 and wound up in a cabin in Angelus Oaks, one law enforcement officer has been killed and one more has been hospitalized. The battle began after Dorner took two people hostage and then stole their car which was spotted by officers from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The battle can be heard over a large area with many witnesses reporting that they can hear automatic fire being poured back and forth between the combatants. The scene of the battle is Angelus Oaks, a tiny mountain community half way in between Redlands at the base of the mountain and Big Bear near the mountain’s peak.
Following three murders last week, one involving the death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, Dorner has precipitated one of the largest man hunts in California history and an award of more than $1,000,000 has been offered for Dorner’s arrest. Until this latest confrontation with police, many had believed that Dorner was long gone from the Big Bear area and most government resources were being used to monitor the border with Mexico.
Here’s the sequence of events from the sheriff’s department: Officers got a report of a stolen vehicle in the Big Bear area, and deputies responded to the area at 12:22 p.m. PT and began looking for the vehicle on the ground and from the air. “The vehicle was located at Hwy. 38 and Glass Rd. The suspect fled into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “A short time later there was an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement and the suspect. Sheriff’s SWAT is on scene.” Two law enforcement officers are being airlifted to a local hospital with “unknown injuries,” the sheriff’s department said. Earlier, a high-ranking law enforcement source told CNN that two sheriff’s deputies were wounded in a shootout.