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Prayer vigil honors Riverside police officer slain by manhunt suspect

By Laura Yanez, News Reporter, Laura.Yanez@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Feb 08 2013 01:39:06 AM CST
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

A city in shock lit candles and bowed their heads in prayer at Thursday's vigil at Riverside City Hall, grieving the death of the 34-year-old Riverside police officer and dad of two who didn't make it home from work.

"Our hearts break for them and their family. Our hearts break," said Tess Graham, a family friend of the slain officer.

Two Riverside police officers on routine patrol were ambushed while stopped at a light, allegedly by Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD police officer, killing the 11-year veteran and seriously hurting his trainee, a 27-year-old officer.

"This man declared war on what he sees as officers. He takes my best friend's son-in-law, the father of her grandchildren," said Graham.

"Taking it out on his brothers, a former officer killing other cops doesn't make sense to me," said Randy Pickering of Riverside.

In midst of Thursday's tragedy, Mayor Rusty Bailey shouted to the world that Riverside is a city united.

"We've gone through a lot in our history and we've gone through a lot today," he said.

With a storm rush of surreal and raw emotion, the prayer vigil's priority was to band neighbors and officers together to bring comfort.

"We just want to show our support for the surviving families and officer trying to recover and even the guys trying to catch this guy."

Neighbors say they're bracing and praying for the men and women risking their lives to protect theirs.

"You worry about the guys who are trying to do the right thing by bringing this guy to justice. It's just a way to say thank you for what you do." said Pickering

The flags fly at half-staff around Riverside County in honor of the slain officer.

Authorities are withholding the names of the officers involved as a safety precaution to protect their families until the suspect is caught.