Feb 12, 2013 / 4:25 pm
A sheriff’s deputy is dead and another wounded after a gunfight with a suspect believed to be a former Los Angeles police officer already accused of killing three other people.
The suspect, believed to be 33-year-old fugitive Christopher Dorner, is barricaded inside a cabin in Mentone, Calif., just south of Big Bear, and surrounded by law enforcement agents.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office said two officers were airlifted to hospital with unknown injuries. But a law enforcement source later told the L.A. Times that one of the deputies had died.
The suspected gunman, Dorner, was confronted by police earlier Tuesday after allegedly breaking into a home, tying up a couple, and stealing a car.
LAPD said authorities in San Bernardino got a call at 12:22 p.m. local time about the vehicle theft by an individual who fit Dorner’s description.
The suspect eventually abandoned the stolen vehicle and fled to the cabin before exchanging gunfire with police.
The area has been sealed off by police and a temporary restriction on flights has also been put in place. A SWAT team is also on the scene. Checkpoints have been set up on roads surrounding the cabin, with officers checking every vehicle.
Dorner was believed to have been hiding in the wooded mountains surrounding Big Bear Lake for the past few days.
At an afternoon news conference, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith urged the suspect to surrender.
“Enough is enough,” Smith said. “It's time for you to turn yourself in. It's time to end the bloodshed.”
“Until this guy is in handcuffs and in custody…none of the people in our department will be able to rest,” he added.
Southern California authorities recently offered a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s arrest.
Dorner, a U.S. Navy veteran, has been on the run since authorities identified him as a suspect in the Feb. 3 killing of Monica Quan, a former police captain’s daughter, and her fiancé in Irvine, Calif.
Police also believe Dorner killed one officer and injured two others in two separate incidents during the intense manhunt.
In a searing manifesto posted on Facebook, Dorner has declared war on LAPD, listing names of targets he believes have wronged him.
Dorner was fired from the police department five years ago for falsely accusing his training officer of kicking a mentally ill suspect, but he claims he was a victim of racism.
"You're going to see what a whistleblower can do when you take everything from him especially his NAME!!!" he wrote in his post. "You have awoken a sleeping giant."
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he would reopen the investigation into Dorner’s firing to assure the public that the police force is fair and transparent.
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