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Dorner manhunt: Big Bear residents wait anxiously for standoff to end

February 12, 2013 |  5:35 pm

Anxious Big Bear residents waited Tuesday for a resolution to the standoff between police and the man believed to be ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, with some remaining in their homes and others stuck behind police barricades.

Carl Saxelby, 61, lives one mile up the road from the cabin where Dorner is believed to be barricaded.

Saxelby has been holed up in his home all afternoon as police exchanged gunfire with the suspect. There is only one way off the mountain -- down a paved road leading directly past the cabin.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

"I'm not being held here by police," he said. "I just can't leave."

Dorner suddenly resurfaced Tuesday afternoon, engaging in a vehicle-to-vehicle gun battle with a California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer before holing up in a Big Bear-area cabin as dozens of officers homed in. One San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was killed and another injured.

The incidents quickly unfolded Tuesday morning after Dorner left a nearby home he had broken into days ago, a source said. He allegedly had tied up a couple inside and held them hostage.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Saxelby said he did not hear any gunfire, but was startled by a flood of police sirens and helicopters.

"There's 37,000 helicopters up here, I can't hear anything," he said around 4 p.m.

Moments later, he looked out a window.

"I can't hear anything, but I do see tons of smoke," he said. 

Holly Haas, 52, a cook manager, lives at Seven Oaks Mountain Resort, a mobile home park about a mile from the cabin where the shootout occurred. Police told her family to stay in their house and lock their doors. Around 3:30 p.m., a red and white helicopter flew low over the house.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

“I could throw a rock and hit it,” she said.

Some residents remained worried for their safety,

“I’m very freaked out," said Karyl Mayeda, who also lives at Seven Oaks Mountain Resort.

“We’re in our little house. The doors are locked. But the blinds are open so we can see anything.”

There are 43 mobile homes in the resort, and only about 10 have full-time residents. The rest are vacation homes.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Searching for suspected shooter

“It’s disconcerting that it’s so close, and if we had to leave we couldn’t," Mayeda said. "There’s no other road out of here."

Big Bear resident Douglas Russell, 25, who lives about three miles from the standoff, said he and his mother have been glued to the television for hours waiting for updates.

Russell lives far enough away from the cabin where Dorner is believed to be barricaded that police have allowed him to remain in his home. Still, he admits, the neighborhood is on edge.

"We've just been watching and waiting," Russell said.

Asked if he's scared, Russell insisted he's got full confidence in law enforcement to end the manhunt without further bloodshed.

"They've got their best guys on this," he said. "Mom and I know we'll be safe."


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Christopher Dorner shootout: 1 deputy killed, 1 wounded, sources say

Christopher Dorner shootout: Ex-cop may be watching news, police say

-- Wesley Lowery and Matt Stevens