RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Riverside police officer nearly killed in an ambush by rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner made his first public appearance since the shooting, at an emotional dinner where he was greeted warmly by friends and admirers and shared a table with the wife of his late training officer.
Officer Andrew Tachias was sitting in his patrol car with Officer Michael Crain on Feb. 7 when Dorner pulled alongside them at a stoplight and opened fire.
Crain was killed. Tachias, who is still recovering, was shot eight times.
"I think he's like all of us. It's ups and downs," Crain's widow, Regina, said of Tachias. "One minute you're fine, and the next you are in a hole."
She added the dinner was the first time she and Tachias, 27, had met.
The officer, whose wounded hands were encased in protective coverings, has said he wants to return to work.
"I'm absolutely speechless for him to be back in this environment," said Officer Scott Levesque, who was among those at the event at Riverside's Original Roadhouse Grill.
The dinner capped a daylong fundraiser for the families of Tachias and Crain. It drew so many people that at one point, the restaurant ran out of silverware, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported (http://bit.ly/X4bhPe).