The San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who was seriously wounded in a February gun battle with ex-
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon called Deputy Alex Collins' return to the Big Bear station an "emotional and proud day," according to a statement from the Sheriff's Department. McMahon and others were on hand to welcome Collins when he arrived at the station.
"We are so happy that Alex is doing so well and is returning to work," the sheriff's statement said.
Collins suffered life-threatening injuries during the Feb. 12 shootout with Dorner, who kept much of Southern California on edge during a days-long killing rampage that stretched across the region. Though the San Bernardino Sheriff Department's statement did not specifically name Dorner, it said Collins was injured "during the greatest manhunt in Southern California."
Dorner, who was dismissed from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009, threatened "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" against police in a manifesto that authorities said he posted online. He killed three people — the daughter of the retired LAPD captain he blamed for his firing, her fiance and a Riverside police officer — and wounded others before his burning truck was found in Big Bear.
Collins was on family leave with a newborn son when he decided to return to work and help with the search.
He and partner Deputy Jeremiah MacKay were among the first to close in on Dorner after the fugitive holed up in a Big Bear-area cabin. Dorner opened fire on the deputies as he tried to escape, striking both.
A SWAT team brought MacKay and Collins to safety. Both deputies were airlifted to an area hospital, where MacKay, 35, was pronounced dead.
Dorner later died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound following an intense standoff with authorities.
Collins underwent several surgeries in recent months and thanked his "amazing team of doctors" Monday for helping him return to work. The department statement said he would be assigned to modified duty and would conduct "follow-up investigative work" from the station.