February 12th 2013, in a shoot-out with ex-cop Christopher Dorner in the Big Bear area, San Bernardino Sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay lost his life in the gunfight that ensued to apprehend Dorner who was held up in a cabin off Hwy 38 in the Seven Oaks area.
Ironically, a few days before, MacKay was quoted by Tami Abdollah of the Associated Press in an article titled “Clear sky aids mountain hunt for fugitive ex-cop.” On Feb. 9, 2013, she wrote that Sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay, who began his patrol at 5 a.m. Saturday, said the operation was both massive and tactically complex.
“This one you just never know if the guy’s going to pop out, or where he’s going to pop out. We’re hoping this comes to a close without more casualties. The best thing would be for him to give up,” MacKay said.
Sadly he was the casualty, a Facebook page has been establish in his honor. He is survived by his wife, step daughter and 4-month-old son.
MacKay was known for his heart for the fallen. As the Sergeant-in-Arms of the Inland Empire Emerald Society, he was planning on playing the bagpipes this Friday at their annual “Guinness Toast”. Traditionally, the playing of the pipes was a call to something; a call to war, a call to remember, to celebrate life, or to memorialize it; on Friday the 15th it will serve the same for MacKay and his family.
The “Guinness Toast” event, boasted as the largest simultaneous toast ever, is a major fundraiser for the families of fallen Inland Empire officers. The proceeds from every pint purchased are donated to the Fallen Officers Memorial Fund and as the bagpipes are played the hat is passed for more donations to the cause. This year’s event will be hosted at Sham Rock’s in Corona, CA, 1275 Magnolia Ave on this Friday the 15th, and the toast is to be made at precisely 8pm.
With the loss of MacKay, the event will now be in honor of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Detective and funds will be collected for his family and the family of the fallen officer in Riverside, Michael Crain. According to the Emerald Society’s Facebook page they are to be the only designated official collector of donations for the MacKay family. To donate go to www.iees.ie. Visit his memorial FB page at https://www.facebook.com/JeremiahMacKaySBCSD
I first met the MacKays and their son Jer at Church of the Woods in Lake Arrowhead. My son and daughter and Jer, as he liked to be called in those days, had some fun times. When his family moved down the hill we lost touch and were pleasantly surprised to hear from him through a mutual friend. The last time I saw him, he had just been accepted on the force and was in basic training. My daughter, a new Coastguardsmen home for a visit, was going through some similar training. I enjoyed listening to them swap pepper spray training stories, comparing whose was the hardest and why. Jer told us that he was so honored to be chosen to be on the force and looked forward to serving others. We lost touch again and several years later we ran into his parents somewhere and visited for a while, they were so proud of Jer and his career choice.
I am glad to hear he lived a full life over these past years as we lost touch. I have learned that he did have the respect and love of others, that he gave his life in their service daily, experienced the love of a cherished wife and daughter and had a son. Our family will always remember him as an energetic teen with boundless energy and a zest for whatever he did.
Our hearts and prayers go out to his family. Jer will be missed.