Late Thursday evening, on July 7, 2016 shots echoed throughout downtown Dallas. What had originally started as a peaceful Black Lives Matter movement protest quickly turned into a state of panic.A deranged man in his mid twenties from Mesquite, Texas carried out the well-planned ambush. Today, we will focus on the heroes that lost their life protecting those protesting them. These are the stories of the brave Dallas Police Officers that died that night:
Ahrens is described as a big guy with an even bigger heart. His father-in-law told the Washington Post that his size – 6 feet 5 inches; 300 pounds – helped him in his work as a police officer. The former semi-professional football player was able to climb the ranks to Senior Corporal in the DPD after starting as a dispatcher at the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s
Department in 1991; this was his 14th year of service in Dallas.
Ahrens former coworker, Sgt. Anthony Gunn told CNN, “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 is survived by a wife and two children, a 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.
After serving in the military as an Army Ranger, Smith, 55, joined the Dallas Police Department in 1989.
His involvement and care for the community did not end when he clocked out. He was an active member of his church and volunteered extensively at the YMCA where he started a racquetball program for at-risk youth.
His care for the community on and off duty were recognized when he was awarded the “Cop’s Cop” accolade by the police association.
Often spending money out of his own pocket for advanced training, he strived to be the best he could while in the field. A few years ago, his training came into action when he saved his partner from a gang-related stabbing by putting his life on the line. He suffered a laceration to his head and needed 31 stitches.
His wife, Heidi, and his two daughters, Victoria and Caroline, will miss him dearly.
Michael Krol, 40, was a nine-year veteran of the police force. Originally from Michigan, he joined DPD after the 2008 recession took his hospital security job and left Detroit jobless.
Krols mother described Michael for his passion on helping others, and playing basketball. She told the Associate Press that “Michael knew the danger of the job but he never shied away from it.”
Michael was single with no children, but his loss has been felt greatly by his extended family.
Zamarripa, 32, joined the U.S. Navy shortly after high school, serving eight years and completing three tours with the branch.
In 2004, he served as a security detail on an offshore oil platform that helped fuel Iraq’s postwar economic rebuilding, so joining the police force after his deployment was a perfect fit.
His father, Rick Zamarripa, reminded him that policing could be dangerous and tried to line up a job for him in another government department, but Patrick would not budge. He liked the action and he liked helping others.
Patrick Zamarripa is survived by his wife, 2-year-old daughter, and 10-year-old stepson.