Riverside police today identified the patrol officer shot to death Thursday in an ambush by alleged suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner as 34-year-old Michael Crain.
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 today for the first time by the department. His name had been withheld due to concerns about the danger presented by fugitive Dorner.
Ex-Los Angeles policeman Dorner allegedly ambushed Crain and his patrol partner in their squad car at a traffic light next to the Riverside (91) Freeway.
The still-unidentified second officer remained hospitalized with serious injuries and stable life signs.
Crain was born in Anaheim, was raised in the Riverside area and graduated from Redlands High School in 1996, according to a Riverside police biography released today.
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.