ABCNEWS--A body was removed tonight from the smouldering remains of the California mountain cabin where a man police believe is Christopher Dorner had barricaded himself, apparently ending a five-day manhunt for the ex-LAPD police officer accused of gunning down another cop.
Heavily armed police surrounding the cabin high the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear, Calif., say they saw Dorner enter but never leave the building as it was consumed by flames, creating a billowing column of black smoke seen for miles.
Police recovered a burnt body from the cabin, but were awaiting tests to officially confirm it belonged to Dorner, who for the past week was the most wanted man in America.
One sheriff's deputy was killed in a shootout with Dorner earlier today, believed to be his fourth and final victim after killing an LAPD officer and two other people this month, including the daughter of a former police captain, and promising to kill many more in an online manifesto.
Cops said they heard a single gunshot go off from inside the cabin just as they began to see smoke and fire. Later they heard the sound of more gunshots, the sound of ammunition being ignited by the heat of the blaze, law enforcement officials said.
Police did not enter the building, but exchanged fire with Dorner and shot tear gas into the building.
One of the largest dragnets in recent history, which led police to follow clues across the West and into Mexico, apparently ended just miles from where Dorner's trail went cold last week.
Police got a break at 12:20 p.m. PT, when they received a 911 call that a suspect resembling Dorner had broken into a home in the Big Bear area, taken two hostages and stolen a car.
The two hostages, who were tied up by Dorner but later escaped, were evaluated by paramedics and were determined to be uninjured.
Officials say Dorner crashed the stolen vehicle and fled on foot to the cabin where he barricaded himself and exchanged fire with deputies from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Office and state Fish and Game officers.
Two deputies were wounded in the firefight and airlifted to a nearby hospital, where one died, police said. The second deputy was in surgery and was expected to survive, police said.
Police sealed all the roads into the area, preventing cars from entering the area and searching all of those on the way out. Are schools were briefly placed on lockdown.
Believing that Dorner may be watching reports of the standoff, authorities asked media not to broadcast images of police surrounding the cabin, but sent him a message.
"If he's watching this, the message ... is: Enough is enough. It's time to turn yourself in. It's time to stop the bloodshed. It's time to let this event and let this incident be over," said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Andy Smith, told reporters at a press conference.
Dorner is accused of killing Riverside police officer Michael Crain, who was gunned down in an ambush last Thursday.
Dorner is also accused of killing Monica Quan and her fiance, who were found shot to death Feb. 3. Quan was the daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who was mentioned as a target of Dorner's fury in his so-called "manifesto," which he posted on his Facebook page.
In the 6,000 word "manifesto," Dorner outlined his anger at the Los Angeles Police Department for firing him, and made threats against individuals he believed were responsible for ending his career with the police force five years ago.
Dorner's grievance with police goes back five years, to when he was fired after filing what the LAPD determined to be a false report accusing other cops of brutality.
The LAPD assigned 50 protection details to guard officers and their families who were deemed possible targets.