In Dallas Texas on July 7, 2016, two civilians and twelve police offers were shot during a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally. Five Police officers were killed during the attack, making it the deadliest incident for the police since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Colleagues and close ones remember the victims as caring, dedicated and professional people who will be deeply missed. These are the heroes, and the faces behind the badge, who gave their lives to protect and serve.
#1. Brent Thompson
Brent Thompson, 43, was an officer for Dallas Area Rapid Transit and he served since 2009. He’s the first DART officer killed in the line of duty since 1989.
Thompson, 43, had seven children and was a grandfather of two, according to the Corsicana Daily Sun. He was divorced and had remarried two weeks ago, to another officer. He grew up in Corsicana and before joining the DART force in 2009, worked for the local school district and in Iraq as a police trainer for a private contractor.
#2. Patrick Zamarripa
Patrick Zamarripa, 32, survived three tours in Iraq before joining the Dallas police. Patrick Zamarripa’s entire adult life had been devoted to service. He entered the Navy soon after high school, and saw combat while working for the military police in Iraq.
His interests, outside of his avid devotion to the Rangers and Dallas Cowboys, were mostly his children. He tweeted a video of himself with his stepson, Dylan, yelling “Go Cowboys” together in 2013. And late last year, he shared a video of Dylan pulling his daughter in a little red wagon.
“Where you going?” he asked, as they strolled past. She smiled and cooed.
“It’s the simple things that bring joy to my life,” Zamarripa posted.
He served on the force for six years and leaves behind his wife and five year old daughter.
#3. Michael Krol
Michael Krol, 40, worked hard to become officer, and he worked with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan from 2003 to 2007.
Krol’s brother-in-law, Brian Schoenbechler, told People Magazine that Krol was a “selfless guy” who always wanted to be a police officer working on the street.
“I want people to know he wasn’t just a cop, but a man with a family and people who loved him,” Schoenbechler said.
“It’s just not real for us,” Schoenbaechler told People. “He had a big extended family in the Detroit area and they are all coming through, bringing food, hugs and love.”
#4. Lorne Ahrens
Colleagues describe Lorne Ahrens, 48, as a great coworker. “He was the kind of guy that it made you happy when you got to work and saw he would be working the shift with you. You could count on him to do the right thing, the right way. He was a dedicated professional. He was well-grounded, seeing the world the way it really is, but not letting the evil in the world discourage him from doing good.” said Sgt. Anthony Gunn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Dallas police say that Ahrens was frequently placed in dangerous situations, especially when he served warrants, according to The Washington Post. But Ahrens did not shy away from putting himself in danger to protect others. On one occasion in 2003, he was able to catch up with and tackle a cocaine dealer fleeing a drug bust. The dealer was carrying a pistol at the time and also had an SKS assault rifle at his home. Ahrens leaves behind a wife and two kids.
#5. Michael Smith
Dallas police Officer Michael Smith, 55, was a devoted family man to his wife, Heidi, and two daughters, ages 14 and 9, said Barbara Lynn Greb Durkee, a family friend.
“He was very private and protective of his family, never drove his patrol car home, never wore his uniform around the house or near home,” she said. “He didn’t want people to follow him home and know where he lived. He was an Army Ranger so maybe him being protective was a natural progression.”
He and his wife were married 17 years, Durkee said.
“They had just gotten back from a short trip to Florida last week,” she said. “The day he was killed was his first day back from vacation.”