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.
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……Wildlife officials play surprise role in tracking down Dorner - latimes.com