In the midst of a seemingly peaceful Black Lives Matter protest Thursday night, five Dallas police officers were killed by snipers in an “ambush-style attack,” leaving several others in critical condition.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 8, 2016
According to CNN, the attacks injured seven other officers and two civilians, some of whom are undergoing surgery and recovering. But for the families of the five officers who died that fateful night, their lives will never be the same.
While their stories are still unfolding, here’s everything we know about the five police officers killed in Dallas:
Michael Smith, 55
— Nathan C. Wagnon (@nathanwagnon) July 8, 2016
Sgt. Smith was a veteran of the Dallas Police Department, serving the community nearly three decades.
Before becoming a police officer, Smith was a U.S. Army Ranger and had a fierce dedication to protecting others.
Smith also worked as a security guard at Watermark Community Church in Dallas. Pastor Todd Wagner remembers the 55-year-old as a “compassionate” cop:
“It genuinely troubled him when he saw people treated as objects or when protocol got in the way of personal care.”
— Lamar University (@LamarUniversity) July 9, 2016
He once receieved an award for his service as a “cop’s cop” from the Dallas Police Association.
Monday morning, his patrol car was adorned in flowers, balloons and notes as a community mourns his death:
— Monica Hernandez (@MHernandezWFAA) July 11, 2016
Sgt. Smith leaves behind a wife of twenty years and two daughters, ages 14 and 10.
Lorne Ahrens, 48
5th officer killed in Downtown Dallas identified as DPD Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens. pic.twitter.com/wfhUWktT6f
— WFAA (@wfaa) July 8, 2016
Just one day before Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens lost his life, he brought a homeless man dinner, which is something family and friends say epitomizes who he was.
The California-native previously spent 11 years working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Ahrens, a former law enforcement technician, is remembered by his L.A. colleagues as the kind of person who could always make you smile:
“They said he was an incredible dispatcher who served the patrol deputies in the field well by always looking out for them and taking officer safety into account when dispatching calls for service. Captain Merrill Ladenheim said, ‘Lorne was a big guy with an even bigger heart.'”
Ahrens is survived by a wife, who is a detective at the same department, as well as a 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
— Patty Dixon (@PattyLDixon) July 9, 2016
— Deanna Boyd (@deannaboyd) July 10, 2016
Michael Krol, 27
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) July 8, 2016
Krol had moved from Redford, Michigan, to Dallas, Texas, in 2007.
He previously worked for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at the county jail for four years before becoming an officer at the Dallas Police Department.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon spoke on behalf of Krol’s former colleagues in mourning his death:
“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’s uncle, Jim Ehlke, told Local 4 News that his nephew was “living out his dream” of being a police officer:
“He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer. 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. He was all in, he was all in.”
Patrick Zamarripa, 32
— Dustin (@Dustin_Mfwood) July 8, 2016
Zamarripa was arguably as patriotic as an American can get — a military veteran and member of the Dallas Police Response Team.
He regularly posted about the pride he took in his country and his role in keeping the Dallas community safe:
Happy Birthday to the greatest country on the face of this planet. My beloved America!
— Patrick Zamarripa (@PatrickEZ01) July 5, 2016
— Patrick Zamarripa (@PatrickEZ01) June 15, 2016
— Patrick Zamarripa (@PatrickEZ01) September 20, 2015
He also posted about his family, including his girlfriend, Kristy, and their young daughter:
— Patrick Zamarripa (@PatrickEZ01) April 30, 2016
— Patrick Zamarripa (@PatrickEZ01) May 16, 2016
Relatives have since asked for prayers for Zamarripa’s family in their time of mourning:
Everyone say a prayer for my stepbrother, Patrick, and his family. He was one of the young Dallas police officers killed this evening.
— Dylan Martinez (@KDylanMartinez) July 8, 2016
Family man and military veteran. Just not right.
— Dylan Martinez (@KDylanMartinez) July 8, 2016
Most of you already know this by now today in Dallas , my son is a police officer in Dallas he was working there the…
Brent Thompson, 43
DART(from statement)Officer Brent Thompson,43, 1st officer killed in the line of duty since agency formed PD in '89 pic.twitter.com/i8rxDvz6Lp
— NBC 10 WJAR (@NBC10) July 8, 2016
Thompson served his community as a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer for seven years.
He’s remembered as a “great” and “admirable” man who had very recently been married to a fellow officer.
DART Chief James Spiller told NBC News his brothers in blue will ensure Thompson’s family is “taken care of”:
“This is very heartbreaking for us…we will definitely miss him.”
The 43-year-old was the first DART official killed in the line of duty since the agency’s inception nearly 30 years ago.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Thompson said he was “motivated” by a “team atmosphere” and enjoyed working alongside his peers, spending nearly five years as an international police liaison:
“I enjoy working on challenging tasks and problem solving with my peers. I am constantly looking for different ways to serve the department, this helps to keep my work from becoming sedentary and boring.”
He was also a father and grandfather:
— David Wordsmith (@WordSmithGuy) July 8, 2016
The names of the other two officers killed in Thursday’s shooting have not yet been released. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include the names of Michael Smith and Lorne Ahrens, which were not released at the original time of publication.