The officer requested anonymity because the officer was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
The officer told The Associated Press it's believed Christopher Dorner committed a residential burglary of a cabin and had a couple tied up in the cabin. One was able to get away and make a call.
Authorities responded to the location and gave chase when Dorner fled in a stolen car. Gunfire was exchanged.
The area is in the Big Bear region where a search for Dorner has been under way since his pickup truck was found there Thursday.
A KCAL-TV reporter in the Angelus Oaks area along Highway 38 reported gunfire in his vicinity.
San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said a stolen vehicle report from a residence was received at 12:20 p.m.
"The reporting party identified the suspect as looking like Christopher Dorner but that has not been confirmed," Miller said.