Wildlife Officials Play Role in Tracking Down Dorner

BIG BEAR — While law enforcement officials scoured the hillsides above Big Bear on Tuesday for murder suspect Christopher Dorner, wardens from California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife were called in to patrol the rugged terrain of Highway 38.

It was on that highway that the officers first encountered Dorner, engaging the former cop in a white-knuckle chase involving two commandeered vehicles.

The pursuit culminated in what officials described as a wild shootout between Dorner and a state game warden.

fish-game-pic

Lt. Patrick Foy, Dept. of Fish & Wildlife spokesman

The actions by alert wildlife officers may have set in motion Dorner’s last stand — in a snowbound cabin, surrounded by police.

The cabin burned to the ground and there were conflicting reports over whether a body had been found inside.

Details of the chase over icy rural roads emerged late Tuesday as authorities pieced together what appeared to be the fugitive’s last, desperate movements.

The encounter began about 12:45 p.m. as Dorner was driving a purple Nissan on Highway 38 when he passed a Fish and Wildlife vehicle.

Dorner’s car was tucked behind buses when officers saw him and swung their cars around in pursuit.

The murder suspect, authorities said, attempted to evade them by turning off onto Glass Road.

At some point, they said, Dorner crashed and abandoned the small car.

With officers still in pursuit, Dorner then stopped a truck driven by local resident Rick Heltebrake, ordering him out.

Heltebrake, a ranger at a nearby Boy Scout camp, didn’t want to leave his dog behind.

Dorner allowed Heltebrake and his Dalmatian, Suni, to get out and then took off, according to an account from a friend of Heltebrake.

Behind the wheel of the stolen truck, Dorner was once again careening down Glass Road and passed another Fish and Wildlife vehicle coming from the opposite direction, officials said.

Again an officer recognized Dorner.

That officer radioed his colleagues traveling behind him that Dorner was heading their way in a silver pickup truck.

When Dorner saw a third Fish and Wildlife truck approaching, he rolled down his window and allegedly took aim.

Dorner opened fire as the vehicle passed, strafing the truck with a handgun, officials said.

The badly damaged state truck skidded to a halt. A game warden exited the vehicle and fired a high-powered rifle several times as Dorner sped away, according to authorities.

Dorner subsequently crashed that truck, authorities said, and ran into the cabin.

For days, multiple law enforcement agencies from across Southern California had been searching for Dorner.

But Fish and Wildlife, whose wardens are involved in about one shooting a year, encountered him first.

Tuesday’s gun battle was the second incident in seven weeks involving game wardens being fired upon.

And while the five wardens were “certainly rattled,” said Lt. Patrick Foy, Fish and Wildlife spokesman, they were all highly trained and had just received the rifles.

As for their part in the day’s drama, given the casualties suffered by law enforcement, “nobody’s really celebrating,” Foy said.

-Los Angeles Times

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17 comments

  • Oswald

    Dorner was not real. A bad idea meant to flare up anti 2nd amendment feelings gone wrong. It only flared up anti govt sentiment. Stay strong America.

    • so much pun

      yep, the federal government has been killing people in socal as part of a conspiracy to rile people up. you are wise beyond your years, my friend.

    • CaLiFoRnIa

      Oswald-
      It's safe to say that America is the way it is because of you. Ignorant, conservative, right wing, shallow, closed minded, selfish, and stupid are the best words to describe a moron like yourself making such idiotic comments. Keep clinging to the gun you probably don't know how to fire, and keep our mouth shut.
      America would be a lot stronger without ignorant racist pricks like yourself. All of you gun hugging creeps move to Texas and start your own country (Like Texas already wants to do). It'd be fun to watch how fast you idiots would self destruct, and also be great for all people in America who have a brain. The problem is you my friend, the problem is YOU… Keep your bitchin' to yourself or other idiot friends, not here.

  • rightway

    til I looked at the paycheck which was of $8697, I didn't believe …that…my brother trully making money parttime from their computer.. there mums best friend haz done this 4 less than fifteen months and just repayed the dept on there condo and bought a top of the range Chevrolet. I went here,
    click and earn

  • Helter Skelter

    So now it only seem appropriate for the relatives of Dorner's murdered victims to hunt down and murder his mother and sister. Right? Circle of life.

  • rbullock

    my heart goes to all that has suffered a lost loved one at the hands of Dorner. This man has left many lives forever shattered. Now I do not trust the media esp. the news and sitting at home watching KTLA live, I can say that I still do not however that is not my reason for leaving this comment. My reason is the cruel and selfish way you are treating Dorner's mother. She is indeed his first victim. This woman has to deal with fact that her child took the lives of four people, injured several others and has just devastated the lives of thousands and now may be dead as well. Making her his last victim. Where do you see reason to have this woman home lit up with your vultures ready pick her apart the moment she moves? What do you want her to say? She can not answer for her son. No one can. It's a shame that you and others can't see all of Dorner's victims but that would be a Truth wouldn't it? It would show some Caring wouldn't it? And those are things the news media wouldn't dare include in local news because the BS is bigger than the Heart! Dorner is/was a man who proved to be as broken as a human can be and my heart goes out to ALL those who have lost and to those who stopped him. You're in my prayers.

  • lacofortwenty

    I think Dorner is well done by now. IF he set the cabin on fire for a diversion, cops were all over the place there, so he would have been killed in a shootout if he had fled. ALSO, as a former FBI person said tonight, HE is going with what he sees, not with what is said. The cops worked LONG hours. They didn't have another shift come in to take over. The streets/highways right there weren't blocked off anymore, or were MAYBE partially blocked. Not like earlier in the afternoon or evening. Basically, the FBI guy said, there are signs showing that Dorner is more than likely in that cabin. It's just that no one will enter it, because it's still hot and/or there's ammo in there that could go off. The FBI person made ALOT of sense, so I DO think this whackjob cop killer is a goner now. FIIIIIIINALLY. We'll possibly know more sometime tomorrow, or when they are cleared to go in the cabin.

  • Rockina2

    The game wardens stumbled across him as they were out driving; they did not track him down. It was a stroke of luck that brought him to them. This story also fails to report that Dorner lost the game wardens when he went down Glass Road. Again it was Mr. Dorners bad luck that he passed another warden going in the other direction after crashing the purple Nissan and commandeering another vehicle..

  • susan673

    until I saw the bank draft saying $4410, I be certain that my friend was like actually earning money part-time on their laptop.. there neighbour had bean doing this for only 6 months and by now repayed the mortgage on their apartment and bourt a new Citroën DS. read more at, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT