Police on Sunday remembered one of their own as an “exceedingly decent human being," stand up Marine veteran and caring father who leaves behind a wife and two young children.
Michael Crain, a Riverside native and former football player at Redlands High School, had a “big heart” and loved spending time with wife Regina and their children Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4, his former colleagues said.
“You want to be able to tell somebody when you give them bad news that it’s going to be OK,” said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz. “It’s not going to be OK. It’s never going to be OK.
“His wife and children are going to be with that pain for the rest of their lives.”
Crain was shot Thursday while he and his 27-year-old trainee partner -- with less than a year on the job -- were sitting at a traffic light near the Riverside Freeway in an ambush allegedly by fugitive suspect Dorner.
Crain was 34.
Dorner is accused of killing two others in Irvine on Sunday in an alleged revenge spree outlined in an online manifesto police attribute to him that threatens those allegedly responsible for his 2008 firing from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Crain and his partner were on patrol duty when they were allegedly attacked by the suspect, police said. The still-unidentified second officer remains hospitalized with serious injuries. He was shot at least 11 times.
Riverside police publicly identified Crain for the first time on Sunday. His name had been withheld due to concerns about the danger presented by fugitive Dorner.
Riverside Police Lt. Guy Toussaint said Crain left “an unforgettable impression” on everyone he met.
Toussaint said Crain loved attending dance recitals with his daughter and coaching his son's baseball team. He also loved his classic 1970 Chevy Nova, which he spent his spare time restoring.
“Mike’s family and friends knew his usually straight face hid a huge personality,” Toussaint said in an online biography. “He made an unforgettable impression on everyone he met.”
Crain was born in Anaheim, was raised in the Riverside area and graduated from Redlands High School in 1996, police said.
Crain was the eldest of three children in his family and attended Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa for about a year after high school before joining the Marines.
Crain served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.
Crain was a squad leader and was promoted to the rank of sergeant during his service. He was stationed in Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, where he taught military operations on urban terrain, Toussaint said.
Following his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Crain joined the Riverside Police Department and was sworn in on Aug. 24, 2001. During his 11 years of service, Crain was a member of the department's SWAT team and usually worked as a patrol officer.
Funeral services were scheduled for Crain for Wednesday in Riverside.
Donations can be made to the “Officer and Family Assistance Fund” via the Riverside Police Officers’ Association, 1965 Chicago Ave Suite B, Riverside, CA 92507, Phone (951) 784-1034 www.rpoa.org.