A newlywed and a Navy veteran of three tours in Iraq were among the five Dallas police officers killed in a sniper ambush on Thursday night. The victims were identified on Friday by officials, relatives and the media.
Seven other police officers and two civilians were wounded in the shooting at the end of a protest over this week’s killing of two black men by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. The Dallas shooter was a U.S. Army reservist who served in Afghanistan.
Following are profiles of the five officers who died.
Transit Police Officer Brent Thompson, 43, worked for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system since 2009 and was the first officer killed in the line of duty since the transit system formed a police department in 1989, DART said on its website.
“As you can imagine, our hearts are broken,” a DART statement said.
Thompson spent more than four years in Iraq, working for private U.S. military contractor DynCorp International as a police liaison officer who supervised Americans training and mentoring the Iraqi police force, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Thompson was married to a fellow DART officer, local television station WFAA reported, citing DART Chief James Spiller. USA Today reported that the couple married about two weeks ago and that Thompson was also a father and a grandfather from a previous marriage.
He attended the police academy at Navarro College in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and later taught classes there, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Thompson’s Facebook page reflected the life of a devoted father, with numerous photos of family posted to his account.
“My family,” Thompson wrote in a caption accompanying a photo on his Facebook page. “I’m so blessed.”
Thompson posted numerous pro-police memes on his Facebook timeline, some of which mocked the “Black Lives Matter” movement and accused President Barack Obama of not adequately supporting law enforcement.
PATRICK “PATRICIO” ZAMARRIPA
Navy veteran Patrick Zamarripa, 32, who served three tours in Iraq, was killed in the attack, his family told Reuters. He served in the military reserves as well as working as a Dallas policeman.
His uncle, Hector Zamarripa, said by telephone that Zamarripa was a proud Mexican-American who leaves behind a wife, their toddler-age daughter and a stepson. Although he did not speak much Spanish, he went by the name Patricio among his Spanish-speaking friends and relatives.
“He enjoyed the job, that was his calling,” his uncle said.
“Addicted to the thrill of this job. I own the night. I love my Country, Texas, Family, God, Friends, and Sports! Don’t Tread on Me! ‘Merica,” Patrick wrote on his Twitter profile.
A lover of Tejano music, he posted pictures of his daughter, selfies with other officers on duty and his love for the Dallas Cowboys football team and the Rangers baseball team.
Many of his posts were salutes to other officers. He wrote “Rest in Peace” in honor of two New York cops killed in 2014 and posted an image of an eagle with a caption: “Home of the Free because of the Brave.”
Michael Krol, a 40-year-old officer with the Dallas Police Department, was killed, according to a statement from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan, where Krol worked as a deputy in the jails from 2003 to 2007.
“We are saddened by the loss of the dedicated officers in Dallas – one of whom was a former member of this agency – and also the wounding of the other officers,” Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said in the statement.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement that he had been notified that “one of the fallen officers in Dallas is a Michigan native who previously worked in law enforcement in Southeast Michigan.” He did not name Krol.
Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, a 14-year veteran with the Dallas police, was one of those killed, the Dallas Morning News reported. Reuters was not able to reach Ahrens’ family for confirmation.
Ahrens, a 48-year-old California native, was married to a Dallas police detective and had two children, ages 10 and 8, the newspaper reported.
Steve Stribley, a Dallas patrol officer, told the newspaper that Ahrens was “an incredible loving and devoted husband and father” and a “greatly respected veteran of the department.”
Michael Smith, 55, also died in the attack, KFDM television in southeastern Texas reported, citing his sister. Smith grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, and served in the military as an Army Ranger before joining the Dallas police in 1989, the television report said.
Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report.
A GoFundMe page set up to help Smith’s family said he left behind a wife of 17 years and two daughters, ages 9 and 14.
He was known as a friendly family man and had been given a “Cops’ Cop” award from the Dallas Police Association, the Dallas Morning News reported.
SOURCE: Reuters, Fiona Ortiz