Authorities said that fugitive ex-police officer and multiple murder suspect Christopher Dorner, now believed dead, exchanged gunfire with police after barricading himself inside a cabin in the Big Bear area on Tuesday.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department officials said that two officers were airlifted to the hospital with unspecified injuries after being wounded in a firefight with a suspect they believe to be Dorner. Police responded to a call about a stolen vehicle about 12:30 p.m., in the Big Bear area, according to a sheriff's spokesman. The owners of the vehicle gave deputies a description of a man that fit Dorner's description.
When police located the vehicle, the suspect exited the vehicle and fled into the woods. Officers pursued the man to a cabin where the man barricaded himself inside and exchanged gunfire with deputies. Police say that Dorner also committed a burglary at a cabin and left its two occupants tied up. One of them was able to escape and alert authorities, according to an anonymous police source.
Authorities had been combing the Big Bear area since Dorner's vehicle was found there on Thursday.
A reporter from KCAL reported hearing the sound of gunfire in the Angelus Oaks area near Highway 38. Shortly after the news team recorded the sounds of an apparent gun battle in progress, someone could be heard yelling at the reporters to clear the area.
This is the latest development in an intensive manhunt that has spanned California along with three other states and parts of Mexico. Dorner had managed to elude police as he allegedly carried out his vendetta against the LAPD and those he believed to be responsible for his dismissal from the police force. Dorner was fired in 2009 after being found guilty of giving false information against a fellow officer.
According to Dorner's manifesto, which he posted on Facebook, he was the victim of a corrupt police organization and system. Additionally, the Navy veteran vowed to kill any law enforcement officers who attempted to apprehend him as he wages "asymmetrical warfare" against them.
Dorner is the prime suspect in the murder of a former LAPD police captain's daughter and her fiancé. He is also accused of killing one police officer and wounding two others in addition to the two he reportedly wounded during a gunfight on Tuesday.
On Monday, authorities announced that a $1 million dollar reward had been offered for the arrest of Dorner. Since that time, more than 1,000 leads have poured into the police command center.
It now appears that Dorner's death came violently and possibly at his own hands. This desperate man had to make a crucial decision. He had to choose whether to surrender and let the justice system mete out his punishment, to fight it out to the bitter end or to turn his weapon on himself and put an end to this nightmare.
Dorner seems to have chosen the latter aftet the second option became untenable.
What a terrible conclusion for a young man who apparently had every intent to be the best at what he did. However, in the obviously twisted world that became Dorner's life, there is a lesson to be learned. Although we may be in possession of the highest of intellects, we are not infallible. Even though we may strive to achieve the loftiest of goals, none of us are immune to the all-consuming will to destroy once we allow hate to take hold of our lives.