Michael Crain, 34, was the Riverside police officer allegedly ambushed by Christopher Jordan Dorner while on routine patrol last week, Riverside’s police chief revealed Sunday.
Crain was an Inland Empire native with “a big heart” and loved spending time with wife Regina and their children Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left “an unforgettable impression” on everyone he met, according to Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint.
“He loved attending dance recitals with his daughter and coaching his son’s baseball team,” Toussaint said. “He also loved his classic 1970 Chevy Nova, which he spent his spare time restoring.”
Crain, a former active Marine and war veteran, was publicly identified Sunday for the first time by the department. His name had been withheld due to concerns about the danger presented by Dorner, whose location remains a mystery.
He was slain Thursday when the disgruntled former policeman allegedly ambushed two Riverside officers in their squad car at a traffic light next to the Riverside (91) Freeway. The second patrol officer was reportedly recovering with serious injuries and stable life signs, but his name was not released.
Crain was born in Anaheim but was raised in the Riverside area and graduated from Redlands High School in 1996, a Riverside police biography released Sunday stated.
Crain was the eldest of three children in his family and attended Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa after high school for about a year before joining the Marines. Crain served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, Toussaint said in his statement.
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 Crain 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.
—City News Service