5 Police Officers Killed In Sniper Attack At Dallas Rally

Jul 8, 2016
Originally published on July 11, 2016 2:14 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We're gathering more details about the law enforcement officers who died in Dallas. So far, three of the five have been identified by authorities and family members. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang tells us more about them.

HANSI WANG, BYLINE: Officer Brent Thompson was 43 and a newlywed.

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JAMES SPILLER: I just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. He was in great spirit, you know, from his recent marriage. And, you know, he was just a great officer overall.

WANG: That was Police Chief James Spiller of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, speaking on CNN today. He went on to say that Thompson was part of the transit force monitoring bus and train stations during yesterday's protest.

SPILLER: They were there simply watching the protests, making sure no one got in the way of our trains or our buses as they were standing near their car watching all those things happen. That's when the shots started ringing out.

WANG: Thompson is the first DART police officer killed in the line of duty. He would have celebrated his seventh anniversary with DART this year. Before that, he worked for a private military contractor, Dyncorp International, training police officers in Iraq and Afghanistan. He once wrote on his LinkedIn profile that he enjoyed working on challenging tasks.

It's a kind of drive shared by another officer slain on Wednesday, 40-year-old Dallas police officer Michael Krol. His uncle Jim Ehlke told Detroit TV station WDIV that he was dedicated to helping others.

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JIM EHLKE: Oh, he wanted to do more. He was - just kind of how he was, you know? He wanted to make everything better. He wanted to make things right. He was really committed. That was probably the most frustrating thing for him, he couldn't solve it all.

WANG: NPR confirmed Krol's death with his sister Amy, who described him as a gentle giant who loved his job. She says their family is devastated and in shock, just like relatives of 32-year-old Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa. His father Rick posted about his death on Facebook. (Reading) Need prayers to get through this, wrote Rick Zamarripa, as he described waiting at the hospital for Patrick's body to be moved to the medical examiner's office.

A tweet by Patrick's stepbrother, Dylan Martinez, described him as a family man and military veteran. Zamarripa served in U.S. Navy deployments to Iraq and Bahrain. Law enforcement officials say more names will be released after they notify all of the victim's loved ones. Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.