The fate of a fugitive ex-policeman accused of murder is unknown after a shootout at a burning cabin in the woods outside Los Angeles, California, Tuesday.
Police say a man they chased into the cabin was suspected to be Christopher Dorner, who was wanted for three murders and had posted an online manifesto vowing to kill more police officers.
A police deputy was killed in Tuesday's shootout.
Reports say a single gunshot was heard as the cabin burned, after police broke out the windows and then broke down the walls in an effort to get at the suspect. Police say the fate of the suspect is unclear because the ruins of the structure are still too hot to search.
The investigation is continuing. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said it may be days before they find out the fate, or identity, of the person inside.
Dorner, who was fired from his job as a Los Angeles police officer, had been on the run for a week. His victims include the daughter of a former police captain and a police officer.
A California state game warden spotted a man who resembled Dorner driving a stolen truck north of Los Angeles Tuesday. The suspect fled into the woods and barricaded himself inside the cabin. Hundreds of security officers converged on the area in an attempt to flush him out and capture him.
Spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Police Department Cindy Bachman provided details.
"The suspect that was driving the vehicle, abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot into the forest. He barricaded himself into a cabin. At that time there was an exchange of gunfire between the law enforcement personnel outside of the cabin and the subject inside. During that gunfight a deputy sheriff, two deputy sheriffs were shot. One of the died after being taken to Loma Linda. The second deputy is currently in surgery and is expected to survive," she said.
She said if the suspect turns out to be Dorner, he will be held responsible for the police officer who died in the firefight.
"We don't know if he's inside. The cabin is on fire now and that's all I can tell you right now. Of course, we are planning on a long night. It's an active crime scene. If this is Christopher Dorner here, he's now responsible for the murder of four people and attempted murder of three others," she said.
Dorner wrote in a long online manifesto last week that he would wage "unconventional" warfare on the Los Angeles police department. He said he would stop his attacks only when the department states what he called the truth about why he was fired in 2008.
Police officials say he was let go for accusing a fellow officer of kicking a suspect in the face and chest. The 33-year-old Dorner, an African-American, insisted his story was true. He also accused Los Angeles officers of racism.