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The unfortunate and tragic events surrounding the life of Christopher Dorner’s rampage has captivated the nation. Some Americans are sympathetic to the plight of Dorner’s personal and professional struggles, especially during his time with the LAPD. But what of his innocent victims whose voices are drowned out in the shadows of Dorner’s chaos? This is a brief look into the lives of the four victims to give them a voice.
Monica Quan, a twenty-eight year assistant women’s basketball coach at California State University, was a standout high school basketball player who dreamed of one day playing professionally for the Los Angeles Sparks. Quan met her fiancé Keith Lawrence while both were playing basketball at Concordia University in Irvine.
Likewise, Lawrence shared a love of the game. He grew up playing basketball in high school and, eventually, at Concordia University where he was known for his calm demeanor even after scoring a half-court basket. Lawrence, however, had aspirations to become a policeman. In August of 2012, he was hired as an armed public safety officer at the University of Southern California and was praised for his professionalism at the institution. Before taking the job, he attended the Ventura County Sheriff’s Academy and trained with the Oxnard police department.
Michael Crain was a family man (survived by his wife, 4 year-old daughter and a 10 year-old son) who loved attending dance recitals with his daughter, coaching his son’s baseball team and restoring old cars. As a SWAT and field training officer, Crain was reported to have always had a plan if something went wrong. Crain joined the Riverside police force in 2011 after leaving the Marine Corps where he served two tours in Kuwait, was promoted to sergeant, and later taught military operations in urban terrain at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.
Jeremiah MacKay is a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy. He was killed on Feb. 12 after a shootout with Dorner who made his last stand in the Big Bear Lake of California. Fifteen years on the force, MacKay worked as a detective and is survived by his wife and two young children. On Feb. 9, the Associated Press (AP) spoke with MacKay, who was on his third day of patrol. “This one, you just never know if the guy’s going to pop out or where he’s going to pop out,” MacKay told the AP report. “We’re hoping this comes to a close without any more casualties. The best thing would be for him to give up.” MacKay said his fellow officers were taking all the necessary precautions by working in pairs or in larger groups. “Everyone is here for the safety of everyone,” MacKay said, “for the safety of each other, for the safety of you.” MacKay was hit several times during the shootout and was airlifted to the hospital where he later died of his injuries. These four individuals will always be remembered and loved as a daughter, son, husband, father and friend by many.
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