Deputy Jeremiah MacKay
Deputy Jeremiah MacKay (Jennifer Cappuccio Maher)

Related story: Community rallies to support family of fallen Deputy MacKay
Related story: Eric Rigler, legendary bagpipe player, to perform at MacKay's funeral

His end of watch was Feb. 12.

But the outpouring of love and the honor showed for fallen San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay is marked forever.

The 35-year-old Redlands husband and father of two, gave his life in the manhunt for an ex-cop on a rampage against law enforcement.

Christopher Dorner died alone in a burning cabin in the frigid San Bernardino Mountains, his remains picked apart by investigators, those he would have wanted dead.

Today's Funeral Service

Procession: Staging for public-safety personnel participating in the procession will start at 7 a.m. at Mountain View Mortuary, 570 Highland Ave., San Bernardino. The procession, estimated to be about 5 miles long, will leave the mortuary about 8 a.m.

Route: From Highland Avenue north on Waterman Avenue to 30th Street, then west to the 210 Freeway entrance, west on the 210 to the 15 Freeway, north on the 15 to the exit at Glen Helen Parkway.

Service: 11 a.m. at San Manuel Amphitheater in Glen Helen Regional Park, 2575 Glen Helen Parkway.

lori.fowler@inlandnewspapers.com

MacKay, who lost his life protecting others during a shoot-out with Dorner, died surrounded by faithful comrades.

More than 14,000 by Wednesday afternoon had liked a Facebook page in memory of MacKay, proud Scottish-American.

Under a family crest with a dagger held high, and a photo of MacKay smiling, the comments reveal a beloved man and respected deputy.

Among them is a note of thanks to supporters, from his sister, Angela MacKay:

"I have always been so proud of my brother and loved him beyond words, he was my best friend, my hero and my protector since the day I was born. Now the rest of the world has an opportunity to get a small glimpse of the man and the clown that he was.

"Thank you again, from the MacKay family!"

MacKay was born in San Bernardino on June 4, 1977. An alumnus of Rim of the World High School in Lake Arrowhead, he was known for his love of the beach and snowboarding.

From Tony Grieco on Facebook, who snapped a photo of MacKay in a Starbucks:

"For some reason a few days before, I took this picture of Jeremiah in Starbucks. I brought my kids and wife to get a drink and saw Jeremiah walk in with a rifle over his shoulder.

"I took a quick photo and had posted it on Facebook right then. We talked with Jeremiah for a few minutes in line and he was very very friendly with my kids. Asking my kids about skiing and snowboarding. You could tell he had a heart for the community. Thank you Jeremiah for protecting our community. You will be missed!!"

MacKay graduated from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Academy on his 21st birthday.

He was promoted to detective in 2006 and his most recent assignment was as a detective at the Yucaipa station.

The California Highway Patrol recognized him five times for his work in recovering stolen vehicles.

The Sheriff's Department three times honored MacKay with Commander's Awards for exceptional service.

The online Officer Down Memorial Page is filled with salutes to MacKay from law enforcement veterans around the nation.

One is from Lt. Dennis Bolender of the St. Petersburg, Fla., Police Department:

"Brothers and Sisters, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We just marked the two year anniversary of losing two of our own in the same type of scenario, a predator who ambushed cops.

"I know all too well how you feel. My heart goes out to all of you and especially the families of the slain and wounded officer. Take care of each other, and place your faith in God, it's a rough road ahead. You are in our thoughts and prayers."

MacKay was a member of the Inland Emerald Society and played bagpipes at the ceremonies of fallen officers.

According to the Sheriff's Department, he was a member of the Honor Guard and most recently played at the Wagon Wheel Festival in Lake Elsinore in honor of Riverside police Officer Ryan Bonaminio, who was slain in 2010.

At his memorial service Thursday at the San Manuel Amphitheater in Glen Helen Regional Park near Devore, he will be honored by legendary bagpiper Eric Rigler, 49, who has played on soundtracks for the films "Titanic" and "Braveheart." Rigler, a Torrance resident, played "Amazing Grace" at the 2004 funeral for President Ronald Reagan. MacKay's colleagues requested Rigler for his funeral.

"I was honored when they called," Rigler said.


Reach Josh via email, call him at 909-386-3894, or find him on Twitter at @RialtoNow.