Police Can't Confirm if Chris Dorner Was Found Inside Cabin

After stealing a truck and exchanging fire with a small phalanx of police, feared fugitive Chris Dorner disappeared into a cabin in the woods, never to be seen again. Within minutes, the cabin was engulfed in flames.

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Update 7:39 a.m. Police confirm that a body has been found in the burned cabin, but are waiting for forensic confirmation that is indeed Dorner.

Original: A new sighting of fugitive ex-cop Chris Dorner along California's highway 38 in Big Bear, California stirred police into action early Tuesday. The Los Angeles Times reports that a suspect resembling Chris Dorner broke into a house, tied up a couple and stole their white pickup truck stolen around 12:20 p.m. local time. The Times and AP reported that Dorner engaged in a shootout with fish and game officials some time after that and fled to a cabin in the woods. A stretch of the highway was now closed while authorities continue searching for Dorner. Two officers were hit in the fire fight, one of them fatally, and it was quiet for a few minutes. Witnesses report hearing a single gunshot, after which the cabin went up in flames. It's unclear if Dorner shot himself or escaped before the fire, but police say they didn't see the fugitive emerge from the cabin before the gunshot or the fire. (Update, 9:46 p.m.: Authorities found a body they believe to be Dorner inside the burned-out cabin after the flames calmed down. Update, 10:21 p.m.: Sources inside the L.A. mayor's office confirmed that the body was Dorner's, as have multiple law enforcement sources. Law enforcement officials have yet to confirm that Dorner is dead. Update, 11:16 p.m.: In a press conference, LAPD commander Andy Smith said that, in fact, no body had been found inside of the cabin, despite earlier reports that it has. Smith added that the cabin was "still too hot and no inspectors had access to it yet." Dorner remains at large.)

Below, you'll find a play-by-play of Tuesday's action, and we'll be sure to add additional updates as they arrive. In the meantime, note that this isn't the first sighting of Dorner across California since the manhunt began last week — not nearly.

Update 4:37 p.m.: Officials can be heard on CBS 2 repeatedly telling reporters to "get the fuck out," repeatedly. You can also hear gun fire on the live stream. NBC reports they may have him cornered.

Update 4:41 p.m.: CNN reports police are chasing a 4 wheel drive pickup truck, that other places have reported to be a Dodge, in Big Bear.

Update 4:43 p.m.: CBS 2 now reporting there were two initial gun battles with police. Police tried to make stop Dorner while he was driving a stolen truck, but he refused. There was an initial exchange with police but no one was hit. Dorner stopped the truck to exchange gunfire with between police and that's when two deputies were hit.

Update 4:46 p.m.: There were initial reports of smoke at the scene, which KTLA is crediting to smoke grenades being thrown. It's unclear by whom right now. Dorner is believed to be heavily armed, though.

Update 4:50 p.m.: ABC7 reports Dorner is surrounded in a cabin right now. The CBS live feed is focusing on a cabin where they believe Dorner is located.

Update 4:53 p.m.: According to multiple reports, the gun fire has diminished between Dorner and police officials. It's now being described as a standoff.

Update 5:04 p.m.: CBS LA reports SWAT team and armored vehicles are on the way. The area where Dorner is believed to be located around Seven Oakes Road,  Angelus Oaks, California.

Update 5:16 p.m.: According to multiple reports, the two officers shot are now being airlifted to the hospital. CBS' reporter Carter Evans who was in the middle of the initial firefight is okay.

Update 5:15 p.m.: Police are now asking news agencies to stop feeding information and to clear the Big Bear air for "special security reasons." CBS 2 reports gunfire occurred as recently as five minutes ago.

Update 5:29 p.m.: New information is slowing to a trickle, but if you want to watch the live CBS 2 feed then you can do so here:

Update 5:32 p.m.: This is video of the firefight audio captured by the CBS live feed earlier:

Update 5:52 p.m.: The L.A. Times now reports Dorner broke into a cabin days ago and held a couple hostage until he left, stealing their white Dodge pickup truck, on Tuesday afternoon.

Update 5:54 p.m.: LAPD sources confirm to NBC that Dorner is "barricaded" in a cabin near Big Bear, California right now. This isn't new information. Just confirming what we were already pretty sure of according to multiple reports.

Update 6:07 p.m.: The LAPD just held their first press conference of the day confirming what we know so far about the series of events that happened today -- without confirming whether or not Dorner is the person in the cabin right now. The suspect "is similar in appearance" to Chris Dorner. They wouldn't confirm the L.A. Times report about the hostages. Said he believes the suspect is tracking what's happened on television and urged news stations not to show close ups of police activity. The LAPD are only liaisons to this case right now; it's being handled by the San Bernardino Police Department.

Update 6:26 p.m.: CBS 2's Jeff Nguyen reports one of the officers receiving treatment at a local hospital has died. CBS 2/KCAL 9 also just showed an ambulance speeding away from the crime scene.

Update 6:40 p.m.: The L.A. Times has reportedly found the woman who owns the cabin the suspect is barricaded in right now. According to her, the cabin has no phone, television or Internet access:

Her son called police to let them know she was the owner of the 85-year-old cabin, one in a cluster of seven cabins that she owns along California 38 near the community of Seven Oaks. Martin talked to police, telling them the cabins were supposed to be empty Monday and had no cable, phone or Internet service. There were also no firearms inside, she said.

Update 6:58 p.m.: Multiple other outlets now reporting that one of the deputies shot today in a firefight with the suspect believed to be Dorner has died. This is the address where Dorner is believed to be barricaded inside:

Update 7:14 p.m.: Police are now asking the press to stop tweeting about the situation, citing officer safety as a concern.

Update 7:18 p.m.: Witnesses on the scene say that the cabin is on fire and billowing black smoke into the air above the park. They do not yet know what started the fire but say that the "entire building is engulfed in flames" and "burning completely uncontrolled."

Update 7:33 p.m.: News helicopters flew into view of the cabin and confirmed that it was indeed on fire. Speculation over how it started and what's become of Dorner continued. There's a chance that the tear gas that police threw into the cabin earlier in the afternoon lit it on fire, or Dorner could have started it himself to create a diversion while he fled. Some witness on the police scanner said that they saw tracks headed from the cabin to a horse stable and suggested that Dorner was on the move again.

Update 7:40 p.m.: A KCBS reporter on the scene reports hearing a single gun shot just before the cabin went up in flames. They're speculating that this could have been self-inflicted.

Update 7:45 p.m.: As fire trucks rushed to the scene, sheriff officials said that the fire was actually ammunition burning and not the cabin itself, but that has not been confirmed. Meanwhile, the fire trucks aren't being allowed to drive up to the cabin until the scene's been secured. Reports suggest that a SWAT team will break through the wall of the cabin with a bearcat as soon as they can.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.