While authorities have uncovered charred human remains in a burned-out cabin where they believe suspected cop killer and ex-LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner was holed up, investigators are looking into a shootout that took the life of one sheriff’s deputy in San Bernardino.
The incident began around 12:20 p.m. PT on Tuesday, when a maid working at a local resort called 911, and said she and another worker had been tied up and held hostage by Dorner in a cabin, ABC News reported.
The maid told police she was able to escape, but Dorner had stolen one of their cars, which was identified as a purple Nissan.
The San Bernardino Sheriff's Office and state Fish and Wildlife wardens spotted the stolen vehicle and engaged in a shootout with Dorner. The incident was caught on a one-minute video, which can be seen at the top of your computer screen.
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Officials said Dorner crashed the stolen vehicle, and fled on foot, only to commandeer Rick Heltebrake's white pickup truck on a nearby road, a short time later.
"[Dorner] said, 'I don't want to hurt you, just get out and start walking up the road and take your dog with you.' He was calm. I was calm. I would say I was in fear for my life, there was no panic, he told me what to do and I did it," Heltebrake said.
"He was dressed in all camouflage, had a big assault sniper-type rifle. He had a vest on, like a ballistic vest," Heltebrake added.
The white pickup truck bought Dorner extra time because police were still looking for the purple Nissan, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Patrick Foy told "Good Morning America."
"We were looking for a purple color Nissan and all of a sudden this white pickup starts coming by in the opposite direction. That's not the suspect's vehicle that we had been looking for," Foy said on Wednesday.
A Fish and Wildlife department warden noticed Dorner driving, and the pursuit picked up again. "Ultimately, the officer who was driving that vehicle stopped and pulled out his patrol rifle and engaged probably 15 to 20 shots as Dorner was driving away," Foy said.
Dorner then ran on foot to the cabin in which he barricaded himself, and engaged in a shootout with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies and other officers who arrived.
Two deputies wounded in the firefight were airlifted to a nearby hospital, where one died, police said. The second deputy was in surgery and was expected to survive, police said.
In what seems to be a right place, wrong time situation, a local CBS reporter got caught up in the shootout between Dorner and police, and managed to get audio of the incident.
Carter Evans, who works for KCBS and KCAL, was with police and on the phone with his station, as he reported the situation. Gunfire could be heard throughout.
"It certainly sounds like a lot of gunfire," the station's anchor said to Evans.
"We don't want to get caught in the crossfire," Evans said. Just then, a loud sustained volley of gunfire was heard. Someone shouted, "Get the f--k out of here!" More gunfire followed. When the anchor asked Evans if he was still there, there was no response.
CBS has confirmed that Evans was OK, and he was back on air a short time later.