Dorner manhunt: Wounded deputy will need several surgeries
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A deputy wounded in a mountainside firefight with a gunman suspected to be Christopher Jordan Dorner was expected to survive but will need several surgeries, officials said Tuesday night.
The San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy was shot in an exchange of gunfire outside a cabin in the Big Bear area that left another deputy mortally wounded.
Hundreds of rounds were fired as a man believed to be Dorner battled officers who had taken up positions outside the cabin, authorities told The Times.
Both deputies were airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where one of them was pronounced dead. The other deputy underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon as top Sheriff’s Department officials arrived the hospital and later spoke to reporters outside.
‘He’s in surgery but he should be fine,’ Sheriff John McMahon said.
The department said late Tuesday that doctors were optimistic about the deputy’s chances for recovery but that he would need several additional surgeries. The extent of his wounds was not disclosed.
The situation evolved rapidly Tuesday after Dorner allegedly broke into a home, tied up two maids and held them hostage. One of them escaped and called 911, alerting authorities that the fugitive was in the area.
Dorner was allegedly spotted by a state Fish and Wildlife warden as he drove a stolen pickup truck, authorities said.
Dorner allegedly rolled down a window, brandished a handgun and opened fire on the warden, Lt. Patrick Foy said.
He said the warden returned fire with a high-powered semiautomatic rifle. The warden’s vehicle was struck by multiple rounds.
Dorner crashed his vehicle and took refuge in the nearby cabin, authorities said. One of the deputies was hit as Dorner fired out of the cabin and a second deputy was injured when Dorner exited the back of the dwelling, deployed a smoke bomb and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee. Dorner was driven back inside the cabin as deputies fired at him, the sources said.
Within hours, the cabin was in flames as a smoke plume rose above the heavily wooded area. Authorities shouted over a loudspeaker for Dorner to give up and fired tear gas inside.
Late Tuesday, they had not entered the burning building because it was ‘still too hot,’ LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith told reporters.
During the manhunt, officers had crisscrossed California for days pursuing the more than 1,000 tips that poured in about Dorner’s possible whereabouts -- including efforts in Tijuana, San Diego County and Big Bear -- and serving warrants at homes in Las Vegas and the Point Loma area of San Diego.
Statewide alerts were issued in California and Nevada, and border authorities were alerted. The Transportation Security Administration also had issued an alert urging pilots and other aircraft operators to keep an eye out for Dorner.
The search turned to Big Bear last week after Dorner’s burning truck was found on a local forest road.
At the search’s height, more than 200 officers scoured the mountain, conducting cabin-by-cabin checks. It was scaled back Sunday -- about 30 officers were out in the field Tuesday, authorities said.
Dorner, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, allegedly threatened ‘unconventional and asymmetrical warfare’ against police in a lengthy manifesto that authorities say he posted on Facebook. The posting named dozens of potential targets, including police officers, whom Dorner allegedly threatened to attack, according to authorities.
Records state that the manifesto was discovered by authorities last Wednesday, three days after the slaying of an Irvine couple: Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a USC public safety officer.
Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain whom Dorner allegedly blamed in part for his firing from the force in 2009.