Thousands gather for fallen Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain
Updated On: Feb 14 2013 04:07:30 AM CST
Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain was laid to rest Wednesday. Police say he was killed last Thursday when ex-cop Christopher Dorner ambushed him and his 27 year-old partner, who survived the shooting.
Thousands of police officers from around the Southland, including many from the Coachella Valley, attended the services. He was remembered as an outstanding member of the force and a loving father and husband.
"Every day got better, every day we renewed our love," said Crain's wife, Regina.
Officer Michael Crain's family and the Riverside Police Department will never be the same.
Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said, "It’s horrible, and it's particularly tough on the family."
Kelly Wheeler, wife of a Riverside Police Detective, said, "I don't think they've begun to process it yet. They are just trying to get through the investigation and everything right now, so they are kind of still numb and everybody pulls together it's a close family."
Officer Crain might be gone, but he will never be forgotten. About 6,000 people gathered to remember the 11 year police veteran and make sure the world knows what a good man he was.
Regina Crain said, "Family was just so important to him there was nothing he would not do"
The 34 year old Marine Corps veteran will most likely be remembered as a good father. Crain was the coach for his 10-year-old son Ian's baseball team and he never missed one of his four-year-old daughter Kaitlyn's dance recitals.
"If you don't remember anything about your dad remember this, you were the light of his life," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.
But Kaitlyn and Ian won't have to grow up alone; the entire law enforcement community promises to be there to help.
"Probably in no other line of work is there such camaraderie. I am absolutely certain that the Riverside Police Department family will make the officer's family from this day forward and there will be lots of support for those kids," said Supervisor Benoit.
Support in the community was evident as well. People lined the streets waving American flags as the hearse carrying Officer Michael Crain's casket drove by.
"We are here to line the street with as much red white and blue as we possibly can," said Matthew Hammar, a Riverside resident.
"Just out of respect and the sheer right thing to do, to take this amount of time and come out and show our support," said Renee Hammar, Riverside resident.
"I wanted to be a part of helping the community and honoring our fallen and it's an honor," said Lena Barraza, a volunteer at the service.
"This has been a week like none in the history of law enforcement that I know of, an officer, who has sworn to go out and take revenge on other officers and randomly select officers just because they happen to be wearing a uniform, in a black and white," said Supervisor Benoit.
"It's surreal, that somebody you know, you try to teach your children to do the right thing and for this man to think that is OK to take a life or more than that to prove a point it’s just awful" emotionally speaks Renee Hammar.
"I don't have words, I don't want to give him words," said Wheeler.
Even though there is hurt, with the services on Wednesday, Supervisor Benoit says the healing can now begin.
Crain was laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery.
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