Who they were: Victims in the Dorner case
Ex-LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, is suspected in the shootings of five police officers, two fatally. He is also believed to have fatally shot the daughter of a retired LAPD captain and her fiance in Irvine.
According to a manifesto Dorner allegedly posted on Facebook, he felt the LAPD unjustly fired him in 2009. In it, he vowed to wage “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against law enforcement officers and their families.
The apparent conclusion to the massive manhunt played out on televisions across the country Tuesday. Investigators Wednesday were in the process of identifying human remains found in a charred cabin near Big Bear where the suspect was believed to have been holed up after trading gunfire with officers, authorities said.
Monica Quan, 28
Assistant basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton
Keith Lawrence, 27
USC public safety officer
Michael Crain, 34
Riverside police officer
Jeremiah MacKay, 35
San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy
Monica Quan, 28
Four days before her death, Monica Quan, 28, had news for her team. Quan, an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton, held up her hand to show off an engagement ring. The players screamed and huddled around her for a closer look, head coach Marcia Foster recalled.
Quan was as happy as her basketball players, and later said she wished she had recorded the moment. She loved to have pictures taken with her friends.
“She inspired many young women to play better, improve their game, play harder,” said Quan’s close friend, Antonia Caffey. “She inspired so many younger girls with how hard she worked.”
She was 28, a year older than Keith. He was calm and collected on the court; she was spirited and fiery. He was a Clippers fan, and she rooted for the Lakers. She modeled herself after Michael Jordan, taking his number — 23 — as her own. Keith admired the play of point guard Steve Nash.
She wore red-and-black Air Jordans, and he didn’t care about the brand as long as they were brightly colored, highlighter yellow, lime green, red. They both could have spent hours together shooting hoops or shopping at Nike, their favorite store. They would often meet friends at the restaurant and arcade, Dave & Busters.
“We joke that they are up in heaven at a Nike store, or playing basketball at Dave & Buster’s,” said Natasha Belou, a friend of Keith’s.
Quan and Lawrence were found shot to death Feb. 3 in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium complex. The couple was allegedly killed by former LAPD officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, who was fired from the department in 2009. Authorities believe Dorner, who was represented by Quan’s father at his termination hearing, targeted Monica Quan and her fiance in an act of revenge.
Keith Lawrence, 27
Some at USC want the public to know that Keith Lawrence was more than just a loving partner to fiancee Monica Quan — he was a young law enforcement officer with a bright future.
“Once he got here, he really, in a short time, left an impact on our department,” said USC’s public safety Chief John Thomas, characterizing Lawrence’s demeanor as “quiet confidence.”
Basketball was the center of the couples’ lives, but it was more than a game for them. Lawrence would drive two hours, if necessary, for a pickup game. He liked to team up with weaker players to help draw out their skill, and while he could shoot from well outside the key, he often drove to the basket for the challenge.
“Keith loved his life, and he loved Monica,” said his father, Kevin Lawrence.
Lawrence and Quan were quiet about their life together, and their engagement came as a surprise to most who knew them. Lawrence initially planned to propose to her at a Nike store. He would buy her some shoes and pretend to drop something on the ground, then reach down and stand up with the ring. But his younger brother, Chris, told him it was a terrible idea.
He then decided to propose to her at home in Irvine. After getting advice from Quan’s mother, who knew her tastes, he had a ring specially made. That day, Quan’s parents set up cameras to record the moment, and then left.
He scattered rose petals on the floor, he later told his father, and when Quan came home, Lawrence struck a romantic pose. He got down on a knee and asked her to marry him. She said yes.
Michael Crain, 34
Riverside police officer Michael Crain, 34, was killed Feb. 7 in an alleged ambush by ex-cop Christopher Dorner. Crain and his partner were on routine patrol.
Crain served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the U.S. Marines. He leaves behind his wife, Regina, a 10-year-old son, Ian, and a 4-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn.
Regina Crain cherished the simplicity of Sunday mornings with her husband. He loved food, and every weekend — even when their two young children asked her to cook something else — she made his favorite breakfast: eggs, bacon and, most importantly, hash browns. He loved his hash browns. She always let him sleep in while she cooked, and she’d send the kids to wake him. Those are the times she’ll miss the most, she said.
Family, friends and fellow officers described the 11-year veteran officer as a soft-spoken man, a skilled officer and a doting father. He was known to tell friends he couldn’t believe how lucky he was in marrying Regina.
While other people talked about having good relationships, “I felt mine was perfect,” Regina Crain said.
“Every day got better,” she said, after tearfully reading the couple’s wedding vows. “Every day we renewed our love. I knew how much he loved me and how much he loved those babies.”
She said her husband went to his daughter’s ballet classes and danced with her. Although he never played baseball, he learned the game so he could coach his son’s team, she said
Thousands attended Crain’s service, including Gov. Jerry Brown and hundreds of uniformed law enforcement officers representing agencies from across the state.
He was the “ideal policeman,” said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, who has called the attack that killed Crain a “cowardly ambush.”
“I think we hoped that we could clone him several times over,” Diaz said.
The chief addressed Crain’s children, saying their father was known to be tough.
“Because he was tough, he knew he could be kind and gentle,” Diaz said, choking up as he spoke.
Jeremiah MacKay, 35
Jeremiah MacKay was a regular at Liam’s Irish Pub in Colton. He always had a pint of Guinness and a smile, said Yara Alves, the bar’s owner. He had Irish roots, and he’d show up, guaranteed, every St. Patrick’s Day wearing a kilt and bringing his bagpipe.
“He never had anything sad or negative to say,” Alves said. “It was as if he never had a bad day.”
MacKay, a 35 year-old San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, was killed in a gun battle Feb. 12 allegedly involving fugitive ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner. A second deputy, Alex Collins, who was seriously injured in the shootout was expected to make a full recovery after several surgeries.
For days, MacKay, a 14-year veteran of the department, was involved in the massive manhunt for Dorner in the mountains around Big Bear.
“We knew he was up there,” MacKay’s cousin Jennifer Goehring said. “We were praying for his safety, but never in a million years would we have thought this would happen.”
MacKay posted photos from the mountains on his Facebook page, joking about how he — who grew up in the San Bernardino Mountains — was one of the only officers wearing short-sleeved shirts in the snow.
On Feb. 9 he told an Associated Press reporter that he knew the danger as he scoured the mountains for Dorner: “This one, you just never know if the guy’s going to pop out or where he’s going to pop out. We’re hoping this comes to a close without any more casualties.” The next day, he was pictured on the front page of The Times, his eyes squinted as he put on a hat. He posted a photo of the newspaper on Facebook, making fun of his facial expression, Alves said.
MacKay joined the department in July 1998, said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Capt. Lee Hamblin. He worked in the jails, as a detective at the department’s Big Bear station and most recently as a deputy in the department’s Yucaipa station.
He was married to Lynette Quinata MacKay and had a 7-year-old stepdaughter and a 4-month-old son, Goehring said. He was thrilled to be a new father. His family, she said, made him the happiest man in the world.
Edward Knuff said he met MacKay at Liam’s Irish Pub for a meeting of the Inland Empire Emerald Society, a nonprofit that raises money for the families of fallen law enforcement officers. Now the organization is raising money for MacKay’s family.