Deputy Alex Collins, the San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the face and leg on February 12 during a furious gun battle with former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, has returned to work after seven months of recuperation, reports ABC7.com.
The fierce exchange of gunfire on Southern California’s Big Bear Mountain, which ended with Dorner dead from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound, was the culmination of a nine-day intensive manhunt for Dorner.
“As soon as I woke up in the hospital, all I could think about was getting back to work and getting back here to Big Bear, so that’s kind of been my main goal,” said Collins.
“Obviously, it was the worst day of my life and the worst day for a lot of people, the MacKay family. You can’t help but think about Jeremiah. I think about him every day,” said Collins.
San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy Jeremiah MacKay, a 15-year veteran, was killed in the gun battle and leaves behind a wife, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son.
“This one, you just never know if the guy’s going to pop out or where he’s going to pop out,” MacKay told an AP reporter 3 days before his death. “We’re hoping this comes to a close without any more casualties. The best thing would be for him to give up.”
“Everyone is here for the safety of everyone,” MacKay said, “for the safety of each other, for the safety of you.”
Mackay was shot several times and was airlifted to the hospital where he died of his injuries.
Collins says he’s just ready to get back on the street and his colleagues are extremely supportive.
“This is an incredible young man right next to me, and to have him come back to work today is not only great for the station, it’s great for the entire department,” said Sheriff John McMahon. “We’re so proud that he’s made it back to work.”
See Collins’ press conference in the video.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Dorner detailed specific instances of racism and corruption within the LAPD in a riveting manifesto. To “clear his name” and seek retribution for being fired, Dorner targeted the significant others and children of police officers whom he claimed perpetuated a system of cover-up, brutality and lies:
The LAPD’s actions have cost me my law enforcement career,” he said. “They cost my naval career. … I’ve lost my relationship with my mother and sister because of the LAPD. I’ve lost a relationship with close friends because of the LAPD. In essence, I’ve lost everything because the LAPD took my name and new (sic) I was INNOCENT!!!