RIVERSIDE, Calif. -
Hundreds of police gathered at Grove Community Church on Wednesday to mourn a Riverside police officer gunned down a week ago during an alleged revenge rampage by ex-Los Angeles policeman Christopher Dorner.
More than 100 patrol cars and motorcycles escorted the casket of Riverside police Officer Michael Crain through city streets Wednesday. The cortege passed under an American flag suspended above the street by fire trucks.
Along the route, hundreds of Riverside residents stood at attention. Some held flags and others held banners that read, "God bless the Crain family" and "Rest in Peace Michael."
"It's very heartbreaking to lose such a strong serviceman who's been with the department for so long," said Chrissy Meschon, a Riverside resident who brought her children to watch the procession.
"And he was a Marine…that's a big deal to me because I'm a daughter of a Marine," said Colette Habash, another Riverside resident who brought her children. "I think it's important, too, for my children to understand that he was somebody's father, somebody's friend, somebody's brother."
The Habash family sat on a hill above the church, watching a giant monitor with the overflow crowd of deputies and officers from places like Hemet, Santa Monica, San Diego and Chula Vista.
"Heartbroken… I have a lot of friends with the police department and I feel for them," added Meschon.
Crain's widow, Regina, spoke at the service.
"Every day got better," she said. "Every day we renewed our love. That's how it was with us."
She added, "I know how much he loved me…how much he loved (our) babies."
The chief of the Riverside Police Department directly addressed Crain's 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter during the service.
"We know your loss is irreplaceable," said Chief Sergio Diaz. "Nothing can take the place of your big, tough, gentle and loving daddy, but you won't be alone, ever."
Crain's wife also thanked the community for their support.
"I really did not realize the sheer scale of this… how many people are touched by his life," she said.
After the funeral service, Crain was buried at Riverside National Cemetery.
10News learned that San Diego officers headed to Riverside Wednesday to pay their respects to Crain, a former Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton.
The department sent one motor sergeant, four motor officers and several cars to Riverside, and SDPD Lt. Andra Brown told 10News all SDPD flags would be at half-staff until sunset.
Brown also said SDPD officers were authorized to wear a black band over their badge in honor of Crain's sacrifice.
The 34-year-old Crain was ambushed in his patrol car on Feb. 7. Authorities believe the shooter was Dorner, who'd written a manifesto expressing anger over his firing by the LAPD.
Dorner is believed to have died in a burning cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains on Tuesday after a shootout that killed a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy. He is also suspected of shooting an Irvine couple earlier this month.
Crain, a father of two originally from Anaheim, grew up in the Riverside area, graduated from Redlands High School in 1996 and attended Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa for one year before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, according to Lt. Guy Toussaint of the Riverside Police Department.
Crain served two deployment tours in Kuwait as a rifleman with the Camp Pendleton-based 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines.
Crain then taught Military Operations in Urban Terrain at Camp Pendleton, according information provided by the Riverside Police Department. He was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a Sea Service Deployment ribbon with a star, a Certificate of Commendation and a Rifle Marksmanship Badge during his military service.
Crain was honorably discharged and joined the Riverside Police Department. He was sworn in Aug. 24, 2001.
Crain worked for the department for 11 years, before being fatally shot, allegedly by 33-year-old Dorner, early Thursday in an apparent ambush as he and a trainee officer were stopped at a stop light, according to Toussaint. The other officer was wounded.
Dorner was charged in Riverside County with capital murder in connection with Crain's death.
According to Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach, Dorner was also charged with three counts of attempted murder for allegedly wounding Crain's partner and shooting at two LAPD officers in Corona, one who sustained a graze wound.
Those who would like to assist the Crain family, send donations to:
Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund (RPOA), 1965 Chicago Ave., Suite B, Riverside, CA 92507.