One was a private contractor who helped train the Iraqi police force, while the other was a Navy veteran who served three tours in the country.
In total, 12 police officers were shot in the coordinated attack in downtown Dallas, officials said Friday. The officers were killed by a single black man who said he wanted to kill white people – specifically white police officers – as retaliation for two black men who died at the hands of police in the states of Minnesota and Louisiana.
The suspected shooter in the incident was identified as Micah Johnson, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Brent Thompson had been an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system for the past seven years and was the first of the five officers killed Thursday night. Prior to joining the DART police force, the 43-year-old Thompson worked for DynCorp International, where he spent more than four years in Iraq working alongside American soldiers to help train and mentor the Iraqi police force.
He had just married a fellow DART officer two weeks ago, DART Chief James Spiller said. Thompson was also a father and grandfather from a previous marriage.
Patrick Zamarripa, 32, also served in Iraq. He completed three tours with the Navy where he was deployed in Bahrain, according to military records. Upon returning from Iraq, he served in the military reserves alongside his service with the Dallas police.
He leaves behind his wife, Kristy Villasenor, his two-year-old daughter and a step-son.
Lorne Aherns was a Senior Corporal with the DPD before he died in the shooting. He served on the force in Dallas for 14 years. The 48-year-old Aherns, was originally from California.
He was married to a fellow Dallas police officer and was a father of two children, aged 10 and eight.
Michael Krol, 40, had always wanted to be a police officer, his uncle, Jim Ehlke, said. Prior to joining the Dallas police, Krol worked at a correctional facility in Michigan, but, Ehlke said, Krol still wanted to do more.
“He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer,” Ehlke said. “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.”
Michael Smith, the fifth officer killed in the attack, was a Texas native. The 55-year-old Smith served as a Ranger in the Army before becoming a Dallas police officer in 1989. He had previously won the “Cops’ Cop” award from the Dallas Police Association for his dedicated service.
He leaves behind a wife of 17 years and two daughters, aged nine and 14.
Four of the seven wounded officers have so far been identified. Three of those were DART officers Misty McBride, 32, Omar Cannon, 44, and Jesus Retana, 39. One of the Dallas Police Department officers who was wounded is Gretchen Rocha, identified by her sister.