Five Dallas officers who died in the line of duty six years ago were remembered in a special ceremony on Thursday by members of the Dallas Police Department and the victims’ families.
During a social justice protest in Downtown Dallas on July 7, 2016, four Dallas police officers — Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, and Patrick Zamarripa, as well as DART officer Brent Thompson, were killed.
“I’m here for his memory,” Enrique Zamarripa said the son of Officer Patrick Zamarripa. “He was a very humble guy. He was very patient, kind. He would give you the shirt off his back.”
The tragic incident in 2016 has left an indelible mark on the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, according to Police Chief Eddie Garcia. He said, “Those five officers were truly unafraid. They went face to face against pure evil, risking their lives to keep our city safe. They are heroes. They are warriors.”
On that day six years ago, a heavily equipped sniper, who was a military veteran, aimed to kill as many officers as possible. Seven additional cops and two civilians were injured by 25-year-old Micah Johnson, in addition to the five officers who died.
After an hours-long standoff, an explosive device delivered inside the former El Centro College by a robot killed the shooter.
Donald Washington, a retired DART driver, went to the memorial to pay tribute to his friend Thompson. He said that Thompson was driving downtown the night of the ambush and transporting people out of the area.
“I come back every year pretty much to help me believe that what happened [on July 7, 2016] was actually true. As far as I’m concerned, it felt like a nightmare,” said Washington. “Officer Thompson came to my rescue many nights, many times. He always had my back.”