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Michael Crain funeral: Slain officer remembered as tough cop with huge heart

The flag-draped coffin of Riverside Officer Michael Crain is carried out of Grove Community Church on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. The 34-year-old was gunned down in an alleged ambush by former LAPD officer Chris Dorner on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

February 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
It was with a broken and heavy heart that members of the Riverside Police Department lined up to say goodbye to Officer Michael Crain, who died last week after police say he and his partner were ambushed by former LAPD officer Chris Dorner.

Crain and another officer were on routine patrol and stopped at a red light at about 1:35 a.m. Thursday when they were allegedly ambushed by Dorner, who reportedly opened fire with a rifle. The officers were unable to fire back. The second officer, whose identity was not released, was seriously injured but was expected to survive.

Thousands of law enforcement from across the state and country packed Grove Community Church in Riverside. The 34-year-old was remembered for his dedication and long record of service.

"He proudly served his city and community as a Riverside police officer, his country as a United States Marine," said Riverside Police Capt. John Wallace. "Mike continually gave of himself to others, friends, colleagues."

Members of the Riverside Police Department honored Crain by wearing black bands with his badge number: 1226. Chief Sergio Diaz gave an emotion eulogy telling Crain's 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter that their father was admired and trusted as a good cop.

"Your dad was a tough guy, and because he was tough, he knew he could be kind and gentle," Diaz said.

But the somber ceremony did have moments of levity. Crain's childhood best friends recalled how he went along to a Marine recruiting station to offer one of them moral support.

"I was like, 'Dude, let's go check out the Marines.' He laughs to me and says, 'Dude I love you, but you could never be a Marine,'" the friend said.

It was Crain who ended up joining the Marines, serving two tours of duty in Kuwait. Afterwards, he spent 11 years as a Riverside police officer.

Crain's widow also spoke, thanking the community for the overwhelming support she and her family have received.

"I really did not realize the sheer scale of this and how many people are touched by his life," Regina Crain said.

A procession of bagpipes escorted Crain's flag-draped casket from the church, followed by a motorcade to the Riverside National Cemetery, where he was laid to rest as a hero.

A fund was set up for anyone wishing to make a donation to Crain's family.

Checks can be mailed to:

Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund (RPOA)
1965 Chicago Ave., Suite B
Riverside, CA 92507