A peaceful rally turned deadly in Dallas on Thursday night, when 14 people were shot. Five police officers were killed and seven others wounded.
The first victim of the shooting identified was Brent Thompson, 43, of Carrollton, Tex. A Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer since 2009, Mr. Thompson is the first officer in the department to be killed in the line of duty since it was established in 1989, according to the department.
In years prior, Officer Thompson spent time in Iraq, helping to train Iraqi police officers, according to his LinkedIn page. Starting in 2004, he worked for DynCorp International as an international police liaison officer, a job which also took him to northern Iraq and Afghanistan. "I enjoy working on challenging tasks and problem solving with my peers. I am constantly looking for different ways to serve the department," he wrote. His page also said that from 2001-2004, Mr. Thompson was an instructor at the Navarro Police Academy in Texas.
Mr. Thompson, a grandfather, married a fellow transit officer two weeks before he was shot.
"We're just trying to figure out how to get over this gut-punch we just got," said James Spiller, DART police chief.
A veteran of the Iraq war, Patrick Zamarripa, 32, served three tours working for the military police, only to be gunned down in his home state. Mr. Zamarripa joined the Dallas Police Department about five years ago. Originally from Saginaw, Tex., he also served in the Navy upon graduating high school in 2001 and was deployed to Bahrain during the Iraq war.
An avid sports fan, with a special love for the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, he lived with his partner, Kristy Villasenor, his stepson and two-year-old daughter, Lyncoln Rae. "Daddy's got you," he tweeted when she was born in December, 2013. "My new reason for… life."
Rick Zamarripa, Mr. Zamarripa's father, had been texting his son as he watched the events unfolding on the television.
"Yeah dad, I'll call you back later," replied Patrick.
As news of his death reached social media, family said their goodbyes.
"Need prayers to get through this," wrote his father on his Facebook page from Dallas' Parkland Hospital. "Love you brother. Couldn't be prouder. We'll see you again," tweeted his stepbrother.
A nine-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, Officer Michael Krol, 40, had always dreamed of being a police officer, his parents say. Susan Ehlke, his mother, released as statement describing her son as a "caring person." "He knew the danger of the job but he never shied away from his duty as a police officer."
Mr. Krol was a native of Redford Township, Mich., but spent his early working life in Detroit, a 20-minute drive away. His first stint was as a security guard at a Michigan hospital.
"He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer. He spent some time at the correctional facility. It wasn't quite what he was looking for, so he worked pretty hard to find a job and got one in Dallas," his uncle, Jim Ehlke, told a local Michigan media outlet. "He was all in, he was all in."
This was his first step toward a career of public service and helping others. He then worked for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in Michigan. When police jobs opened up in Dallas, he pulled up his roots and moved south.
Mr. Krol was unmarried and had no children, but was in a relationship with a woman from Dallas.
"He was a guy that was serving others," said Brian Schoenbaechler, his sister's husband.
"And he gave his life in the service of others."
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 Sr. Cpl. Ahrens's family for confirmation. He was 48 years old, the newspaper reported.
Michael Smith, 55, also died in the attack, KFDM television in southeastern Texas reported, citing his sister. Mr. Smith grew up in Port Arthur, Tex., and served in the military as an Army Ranger before joining the Dallas police in 1989, the television report said.
With reports from Reuters