RIVERSIDE COUNTY (CBSLA.com) — It was just a week ago that Southern California said goodbye to Riverside Police officer Michael Crain, who was shot to death by Christopher Dorner.
Crain’s wife, Gina, moved thousands to tears with her speech that began with the reading of their wedding vows.
“I looked into people’s eyes; I looked out into that crowd and it was nice to see. I felt comforted,” Gina told CBS2′s Jeff Nguyen.
For the first time since the funeral, Gina allowed cameras into her home, which is filled with floral arrangements offering sympathy. In addition to the bag her husband carried to work every day, his uniform is hanging prominently in the living room.
“It just seemed like the right place to put it,” she said. “He used to put them on the hook by the door, but I didn’t want other things getting hung on top of it.”
Throughout the house, there are family photos featuring the kids Crain adored, including Ian, his 10-year-old son from a previous marriage. Crain never played baseball, but learned the game so he could coach him.
There’s also 4-year-old Kaitlyn, who Mike would take to dance class.
“He made me so happy when he took me to dance class,” she said.
Investigators say former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner ambushed Crain and his partner, Andrew Tachias, in their patrol car at a stop light.
Karam Kaoud witnessed the shooting and despite the possibility of being a target himself, the taxi driver rushed to help.
For the first time, Kaoud met Gina to express his sympathy.
“I just did what anyone can. Just keep strong and pray for him as much. Just remember all his good things,” Kaoud said.
Those who knew Crain talked about his selflessness. Perhaps it’s fitting that his final moments were in the company of another man who believes in the virtue of helping others.
Police say Dorner died following a shootout with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The gun battle also claimed the life of Det. Jeremiah MacKay.
“My heart broke again because I know someone else is going through the same thing that I am now. And I felt a little guilt that they were up there avenging my husband’s death,” said Gina, who wants to focus on the good times she shared with her husband instead of his accused killer.
During Sunday morning breakfasts, Crain would sit in a chair with his kids. Gina hasn’t strayed far from there.
“I’ve mostly been sleeping out here,” she said. “I can’t sleep in my bed yet.”
But while her nights are restless, Gina says she finds comfort every time she sees Mike in Kaitlyn.
“What do you say to people when they say you have very pretty eyes?” Nguyen asked Kaitlyn.
“‘Oh, my dad gave them to me,’” Kaitlyn replied.
If those are the words of a 4-year-old, you can just imagine the measure of the father who raised her.
“What will you miss most about him?” Nguyen asked Gina.
“His kiss. His arms around me. Just the comfort that he gave me.”