LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man who called in a key tip to police after spotting cop killer Christopher Dorner is being remembered as an unsung hero.
Lee McDaniel’s wife, Cindy, says her husband died Tuesday after a battle with cancer.
And although she says her husband aided police in their search for Dorner after seeing him in Corona before his shootout with police in February 2013, she hopes he’ll be remembered for his many acts of kindness and not just the random encounter.
“He did things like that every day for years,” Cindy McDaniel told CBS2’s Crystal Cruz. “It was always about somebody else or about helping somebody else or about giving to someone else.”
The grieving widow recalled the morning her husband told her he came face to face with Dorner at a gas station and called 911.
The moment was memorable not because of Dorner but because her 50-year-old husband was heading off to his first day of chemotherapy.
“I said, ‘You’re focused on that, but I’ve got to focus on you,’ ” she remembered.
Shortly after McDaniel’s tip, Dorner shot and killed Riverside police officer Michael Crain and wounded another officer, something that haunted her husband.
“He always wished he could’ve done more and second-guessed himself: ‘If there was something more I could’ve done in that moment, more people wouldn’t have died,'” she remembered him saying.
After Crain’s death, McDaniel struck up a bond with the family, going to Crain’s son’s baseball game, even though he was sick.
“He had promised him and promised his mom and he literally drug himself out that day to get dressed to go because he told them he would be there,” Cindy recalled.
McDaniel’s relatives say they will always remember him for his kindness, his charity and love of baseball – and not for his encounter with Dorner.
He said Dorner didn’t deserve the attention.
As for the reward McDaniel was due to receive after calling in the tip, his family says they haven’t seen any of it.