Dallas police officers and civilians spent July 7 remembering the five officers who were tragically killed in the line of duty five years ago during an ambush with a march and a candlelight vigil.
Chief Eddie Garcia of the Dallas Police Department told loved ones during the ceremony, “I understand that there’s a hole in your heart that’s never going to be filled and for that my heart goes out to each and every one of you. Please know this. Your husband, your son, your father died a hero because he was unafraid of the darkness.”
On July 7, 2016, a lone gunman ambushed the officers during a Black Lives Matter protest, killing four Dallas Police Officers and one DART officer, and injuring nine other officers and two civilians.
The standoff ended after several hours when police detonated an explosive device to kill the suspect.
The community spent the anniversary honoring the fallen heroes: Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol, Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Sgt. Michael Smith, Officer Patrick Zamarripa, and DART Officer Brent Thompson.
At 10 a.m. officers marched from Griffin Street and Young Street to the Police Memorial on Akard Street where the fallen officers were honored in a ceremony.
The ceremony included a performance by the Dallas Police Choir, the reading of the “Roll Call of Honor,” a 21-gun salute, and a flyover by the Dallas Police Helicopter.
“I’m glad he was able to protect the citizens of Dallas,” Patrick Zamarripa’s father Rick Zamarripa said of his son. “That’s one thing about Patrick, he was very unselfish. He would put everybody before him. And he proved it.”
Rick Zamarripa misses his child, but said that seeing strangers come out to show support helps.
Dwayne Horner organized a balloon release and candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary. “I don’t want it to be just a 5, a 10, a 15,” he said. “It’s got to be every year. We cannot forget our police officers and the braveness of them and what they do for us.”
The ambush was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since the September 11 terror attacks.