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Lawmakers honor deputy slain in ex-cop's manhunt
SACRAMENTO , Calif. (AP) — Two lawmakers representing the Southern California mountain communities where authorities searched for Christopher Dorner honored the sheriff's deputy killed in a shootout with the ex-Los Angeles police officer.
During Friday's legislative sessions, the San Bernardino County lawmakers described Jeremiah MacKay, 35, as a hero who will be missed.
"He was a happy-go-lucky guy, always there to help anybody, and yet he had this incredible courage and incredible willingness to be the first one into the fray," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, which is near the Big Bear Lake community where the manhunt was focused.
Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson, of Redlands, called the detective "a dedicated public servant" who was killed in a tragic way.
"He had a passion for music and was known for playing the bagpipe" at the funerals of other fallen officers, Emmerson said.
MacKay grew up in Lake Arrowhead, which also is near Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains, and served in the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for 15 years. He was hit several times during Tuesday's shootout.
"This one, you just never know if the guy's going to pop out or where he's going to pop out," McKay told Associated Press reporter Feb. 9 while covering the manhunt. "We're hoping this comes to a close without any more casualties. The best thing would be for him to give up."
MacKay said at the time that officers were taking precautions by working in pairs or in larger groups.
"Everyone is here for the safety of everyone," he said, "for the safety of each other, for the safety of you."
MacKay was airlifted to a hospital where he died of his injuries. He leaves behind a wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-month-old son.
Another deputy also was hit but was expected to recover.