A statue memorializing a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department detective killed during the Southern California manhunt for a former police officer was unveiled Sunday in the deputy's hometown of Lake Arrowhead.
Detective Jeremiah MacKay, 35, was described as a devoted father and friend during the ceremony in the Lake Arrowhead Village. The bronze statue depicts MacKay in a deputy's uniform and Scottish beret.
"I wanted to do something for his children -- to know who their father was and to remember who their father was," sculptor Khachik Khachatouryan told the Press Enterprise. "And, to make sure the community appreciated their father."
The 8 1/2-foot-tall statue is set on a 4-foot granite pedestal.
MacKay is survived by his wife, 7-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son. He grew up in the Lake Arrowhead area and wanted to become a sheriff's deputy.
He joined the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department after attending Rim of the World High School. He graduated from trainee to deputy on his 21st birthday and was most recently assigned to the Yucaipa Sheriff's Station.
MacKay was shot and killed Feb. 12 as the search for ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner closed in on a cabin in the mountains east of Los Angeles. He was not usually assigned to work weekends, but insisted on volunteering for the manhunt, which focused for several days on the Big Bear area after Dorner's burned-out pickup was discovered in the woods.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon spoke at the unveiling ceremony.
"He moved forward and challenged an evil man," McMahon said. "As an organization, our department must draw inspiration from his sacrifice. As a community, we all must draw inspiration from the fact there are still men like Jeremach MacKay."
MacKay was outside the cabin when he and another member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department were struck by gunfire coming from inside the cabin near Big Bear.