Bagpipes play for deputy killed in Dorner shootout
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The sound of bagpipes cut through the fog and cold air at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino on Thursday morning, hours before the funeral of San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Jeremiah Alan MacKay, who died last week in a shootout with accused killer Christopher Dorner.
MacKay was hailed as a hero for his actions at the Big Bear-area cabin where the massive manhunt for Dorner, a former police officer suspected of violent rampage that left three others dead, came to an end Feb. 12. Dorner died in the shootout from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound as the cabin went up in flames, officials said.
For days MacKay, a 14-year department veteran, was involved in the search for Dorner in the mountains around Big Bear.
MacKay’s funeral was to begin at 11 a.m.
Mike Riley and a group of drummers and bagpipers drove 18 hours from Boise, Idaho, to play for the service. They are members of the City of Boise Police Pipes and Drums unit.
Riley, a drummer wearing a blue plaid kilt, said email messages went out across the country for pipers.
‘Since Deputy MacKay was a piper, there was a call for all pipes and drums to respond,’ he said. ‘We’re here to temper the grief with honor.’
Michael B. Morrison, another drummer with the Boise group, said, ‘It’s like burying your own family.’
MacKay was a member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department honor guard and played the bagpipes.
-- Hailey Branson-Potts in San Bernardino