Riverside, California (CNN) Police from around the Los Angeles area gathered to bury one of their own Wednesday while investigators worked to confirm the man blamed for killing Officer Michael Crain and three other people was dead.
A squad of bagpipers led Crain’s flag-draped casket through a cordon of blue uniforms into a church in Riverside, the Los Angeles suburb where he served 11 years on the force.
Investigators say he was shot and killed by Christopher Dorner, a cashiered Los Angeles cop who launched a vendetta against his old department last week.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said authorities have a “reasonable belief” that the body found in a burned-out cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains late Tuesday is Dorner’s.
But while the SWAT teams that prowled the city in search of the former Navy officer have stood down, the officers detailed to guard his potential victims remain in place.
“I think we all are breathing a sigh of relief,” Villaraigosa said Wednesday. “We do believe that it is the body of Christopher Dorner, but we don’t know for a certainty. And until we do, those police officers who were targeted will continue to be protected. That’s the least we could do.”
Authorities say Dorner launched a guerrilla war against the Los Angeles Police Department over what he considered his unfair dismissal in 2009.
He’s accused of killing four people Crain, a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance — and wounding three other police officers since February 3.
It wasn’t clear when a formal identification could be made of the charred remains found in the cabin near Big Bear Lake, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, after a Tuesday shootout with police. Until then, “a lot of apprehension” remains in the ranks of the LAPD, Lt. Andy Neiman said.
“It’s been a very trying time over the last couple of weeks for all of those involved and all those families, friends and everybody that has been touched by this incident,” he said.
The fiery standoff that capped the search Tuesday came five days after Dorner’s burned truck turned up on a forest road near Big Bear Lake.
Officers converged on the remote area, but the trail went cold for days in a fierce blizzard. On Sunday, the San Bernardino authorities said they had scaled back the search.