UPDATED 7:07: An AP source says a charred body was found in the rubble of a burned cabin in the Southern California mountains.
UPDATED 7 p.m.: The Los Angeles Police Department says Christopher Dorner is dead, according to television station KTLA.
BIG BEAR, Calif. — A cabin where a fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer was believed to have barricaded himself was burning late Tuesday afternoon. A single shot was heard inside before the cabin was engulfed in flames, and no one emerged from the building, according to news reports.
A man believed to be Christopher Dorner, who is sought in three killings, had fled to the cabin after a furious gunbattle with police in the snow-covered mountains of Southern California, authorities said. Two officers were injured in the gunfight, and one of them later died.
A law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that police had broken down windows in the cabin, pumped in tear gas and blasted a loud speaker urging Dorner to surrender. When they got no response, police deployed a vehicle to rip down the walls of the cabin "one by one, like peeling an onion," the Times reported.
By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said. Then flames began to spread through the structure, and gunshots, probably set off by the fire, were heard.
A body was not found. The police search will be focused in the basement area, the source told the Times.
As the cabin burned, Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department, told reporters: "We are planning on a long night. It's an active crime scene. If this is Christopher Dorner, he is wanted for the murder of four people and the attempted murder of three others."
Officers have been swarming the snow-covered Big Bear region since Thursday, when they found Dorner's burned-out pickup truck. The former Navy reservist killed a former police captain's daughter and her fiance and a Riverside police officer, and injured two other officers, police said, promising to bring "warfare" to Los Angeles police and their families.
Reuters Photo: File. Manhunt: Shooting suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner . IMAGE
But, until Tuesday, authorities weren't sure whether Dorner was still near Big Bear or had fled, and thousands of officers were searching for him across three states and Mexico.
On Tuesday afternoon, deputies in the Big Bear area got a report of a stolen vehicle, the sheriff's office said, and the owners described the suspect as looking similar to Dorner.
When authorities found the vehicle, the suspect ran into the forest and barricaded himself inside a cabin. A short time later there was a gunfight and two officers were wounded. One later died; the other officer underwent surgery and was expected to survive.
"Hundreds of rounds" were exchanged during the 30-minute gunbattle, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Schools were locked down and local television stations aired the sounds of gunfire and shouting in a live broadcast from the Big Bear Lake ski resort.
“There are deputies everywhere on the ground," Cindy Bachman, a San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman, told the Times.
Candy Martin, who told the Times she owns the barricaded cabin, said she turned on the news and saw the home surrounded by police.
Martin said she told police the cabin and adjoining buildings were supposed to be empty Monday and had no cable, phone or Internet service, according to the Times.
There were also no firearms inside, she said.
At a news conference, Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said he had this message for the suspect: "Enough is enough. It's time to turn yourself in. It's time to stop the bloodshed."