By Jim Steinberg
San Bernardino County
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A postcard perfect sunset added to the drama of a prayer service Monday evening for wounded San Bernardino Police Officer Gabriel Garcia.
San Bernardino Police Chaplain Ray Miller asked the 2,000 people attending the service at San Manuel Stadium to pray for "Gabe's healing, for his complete recovery."
Miller said he was angry about the "cowardly" ambush that felled Garcia, 31, early Friday morning.
That's when Police Garcia was shot with an assault rifle during a protracted gun battle.
At one point, the crowd, at Miller's instruction, held out their arms in the direction of Colton's Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where Garcia is in a medically induced coma and shouted "heal, Gabe!"
In one of the event's opening remarks, San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis said, "I'd like to express my pride in the police department....The family of Gabriel Garcia, is a model for us all."
Among the people attending the service were 45-year residents of San Bernardino, Lonnie and Deannie Gallaher.
"The police have held their heads up high," in San Bernardino, given the bankruptcy and other situations, Deannie Gallaher said.
"We are here to support them and the city," she said.
Dave Figueroa was among a significant number of those attending from Yucaipa, where the Garcia family has made their home.
"I love that fun-loving kid," said Figueroa, who recalls church-related activities with Gabriel Garcia.
Mike Face, a 32-year auto body shop owner in San Bernardino, was there to support the police department, which he said has always been there when he needed them.
"Policing is a tough job and this is a tough city to be a policeman in," Face said.
Chief Jarrod Burguan said that Garcia's condition — listed as critical — is unchanged.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2014 the San Bernardino County Sun