Dorner shootout: Wildlife officer spotted ex-cop on mountain road
California state officials provided more details about the first encounter between fugitive former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner and authorities Tuesday afternoon, prior to a gun battle with authorities that left one sheriff's deputy dead and another injured.
A California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer encountered Dorner on California 38 while driving in the opposite direction, the department said. The wildlife officer recognized the wanted ex-officer and began to follow.
A shootout ensued and Dorner escaped on foot, the department said. The officer called for backup, which included officers from Fish and Wildlife, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and other agencies.
The wildlife officer was not injured but his vehicle was riddled with bullet holes, officials said. The officer was one of six the state agency lent to the search effort in recent days.
Dorner was believed to be holed up in a nearby cabin, which was engulfed in flames by late Tuesday afternoon. Television footage showed thick black smoke and orange flames pouring out of the building.
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. He then stole a silver pickup truck, sources said.
He crashed the truck after encountering the wildlife officer, authorities said, and took refuge in the cabin. He was believed to be still inside the cabin Tuesday afternoon as officers swarmed the site.
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-- Julie Cart, Phil Willon, Joel Rubin, Andrew Blankstein, Robert J. Lopez and Kate Mather