Riverside officer shot, killed, honored at vigil

February 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Over 100 people gathered at Riverside City Hall on Thursday night for a prayer vigil for a Riverside police officer shot and killed earlier in the day.

"We wanted to be supportive. We live here in Riverside. The loss of anybody is tragic and we need to pull together," said Stephanie Varieur.

The shooting happened at the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington avenues around 1:20 a.m. Investigators say two Riverside police officers were waiting at a stop light when Christopher Dorner rolled past them, then opened fire with an automatic rifle. A 34-year-old officer, who was also 11-year veteran, was killed. The other officer, 27, was said to be in stable condition Thursday night.

"His wounds are very substantial, he's definitely surviving and we are very, very grateful," said Riverside Police Chief Setgio Diaz.

Investigators say Dorner's Riverside attack came just 20 minutes after he allegedly shot at two LAPD officers in Corona. They were on special detail, protecting a family named as targets in Dorner's manifesto. When Dorner was spotted, investigators say he opened fire.

"Officers were able to return fire. One officer sustained a graze wound to his head, the vehicle sustained numerous hits," said LAPD Chief Jose Perez.

None of the names of the officers involved in the shootings has been named out of extreme caution, due to Dorner's vow to go after relatives of his targets.

"The criminal with whom we are dealing has made it clear that he considers police officers and their families are fair game," said Diaz.

Despite having a self-avowed killer on the loose, the crowd still came together to honor the fallen officer. Police were on-hand, but not in an overwhelming force. It was a calculated move, according to Riverside's mayor, to send a message to the people of his city and to Dorner.

"Riverside is a safe and secure city. We are not afraid, and we are going to gather and we are strong and we are resilient," said Mayor Rusty Bailey.

To honor the fallen officer, Riverside County officials have ordered all flags throughout the county be lowered to half-staff for the next week.


Load Comments