Late Thursday, five Dallas police officers were shot and killed during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, when Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire. Another seven officers were injured. Officials have just released the names of the five officers killed during the Dallas sniper attack, and those who lost their lives include fathers of both young and grown children, a newlywed, a career police officer, and several veterans.
Brett Thompson, 43, was the father of six grown children, and had just welcomed his third grandchild into the world. He was also a newlywed, having married his girlfriend Emily — a fellow officer — just two weeks before his untimely death. Thompson worked for Dallas Area Rapid Transit since 2009, and according to DART Chief James Spiller, the 43-year-old was the first ever DART officer killed in the line of duty since its inception in 1989. April Lotman Wynn, a family friend of Thompson’s, called him “one of the best human beings I have ever known.”
“My grown children are also devastated by his loss as are his friends and family. To be deployed as a Marine numerous times only to be murdered like this is unbelievable.”
Patrick Zamarripa was 32 years old when he was killed during the Dallas sniper attack — he would have turned 33 next month. He was a five-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, who served three tours in Iraq with the Navy before becoming a police officer. Zamarripa was the father of a 2-year-old daughter and an older, school-aged stepchild. According to Fox4, Patrick joined the Navy right out of high school, and served eight years active duty, before joining the reserves. Joining the police force was a dream, says his father, Rick Zamarripa, who added that his son died doing what he loved.
Michael Krol, 40, joined the Dallas Police Department in 2007, after serving as a sheriff’s deputy at Wayne County jails in Michigan between 2003 and 2007. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon released a statement following the news that Krol had been killed during the Dallas ambush, calling the senseless deaths of the five officers the “ultimate sacrifice.”
“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. Those officers made the ultimate sacrifice and died honoring their oaths to protect and serve. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and also the Dallas Police Department.”
Krol was not married, but is survived by his family, as well as his longtime girlfriend, Marie, with whom he moved 1,000 miles from Detroit to Dallas to realize his dream of becoming a police officer.
Mike Smith was a career police officer, dedicating nearly three decades to the Dallas Police Department before being killed by Micah X. Johnson on Thursday. Though conflicting information is being reported about exactly how long 55-year-old Smith served with the DPD, what is known is that he was an officer for more than two decades. Before joining the force, Smith served as an army ranger, and eventually went on to attend the Lamar Institute of Technology. According to Heavy, Smith leaves behind a wife, Heidi, and two young daughters, Victoria and Caroline, ages 10 and 14 years old.
Lorne Ahrens, age unknown, was the fifth, and last, officer identified in the aftermath of the Dallas protest shooting. Not much is known about Ahrens at this time, except for the fact that he served with the Dallas Police Department for 14 years, and he leaves behind a wife, Katrina Ahrens, and two children, an 8-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. Ahrens was transported to the hospital following the attack, and was initially expected to pull through. Unfortunately, bullets had torn through his liver, and after an attempt to surgically remove them, Lorne died in the hospital. Ahrens’ wife, Katrina, also works with the DPD as a detective for the Crimes Against Persons division.
Now that the names of the five officers killed in Dallas during the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest have finally been revealed, hopefully the state, and country, can begin to heal and rally around the family and friends of the officers who lost their lives protecting others. A fund to help the families of the officers killed during the senseless tragedy in Dallas has been set up. Donate here.
[Images via DART/Dallas Police Department]