Before an audience of thousands of people — including Gov. Jerry Brown and hundreds of police officers in full dress uniform — Regina Crain stood before a microphone at the Grove Community Church Wednesday and remembered her husband, Riverside Police officer Michael Crain.
“I’m going to miss our weekends. That was our bonding time," said Crain, whose husband Christopher Dorner allegedly shot and killed last week. "Family was just so important to him," she added. "There was nothing he would not do.”
Including dance ballet with his daughter.
“When the baby started dancing, I was working, and there was a ‘Mommy and Me’ class. It became a ‘Daddy and Me’ class," she said. She emailed the teacher recently who told her: " It just really stood out in her mind what a loving and devoted father he was to be in a ballet class dancing with this baby.”
Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz delivered the official eulogy. He described Crain as a tough man, who was also known for being gentle and kind. Diaz fought back tears as he spoke directly to Crain’s children, 10-year-old son Ian and four-year-old daughter Kaitlyn.
“Your dad was a tough guy,” he said. Crain, an 11-year police veteran and former Marine, was also a great friend — and a great listener, Diaz added.
Crain served with the Riverside Police Department's SWAT team and also worked as a firearms instructor and a field training officer.
Riverside resident Jeanne Malcuit came to the church to honor the fallen officer. She was awestruck by the size of the crowd.
“It’s overwhelming to see,” she said, standing outside the church in a residential neighborhood. She felt compelled to show support for Riverside Police Department and was touched by the oversized American flag that officers hoisted between two fire trucks at the entrance to the church grounds.
Crain was killed on Feb.7 during an ambush at a stoplight, according to police. At the time, Crain was on patrol with a trainee officer, who was also injured.
Police officers were seen patrolling rooftops, and SWAT officers with dogs walked the perimeter of the Grove Community Church before the service.
After the funeral, an elaborate motorcade including dozens of black-and-white patrol cars and fleets of motorcycles escorted the hearse carrying Crain’s casket to the second ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery. Community members gathered along the route holding signs of support and waving American flags.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from throughout Southern California attended the event. Some were in tears; others hugged each other and shared stories of Crain.
“This brings closure,” Vernon police chief Daniel Calleros said at the cemetery. “It gives us the opportunity to begin to heal and move forward in our lives."
This story has been updated.