Five police officers were killed in a sniper attack during an anti-police brutality protest in downtown Dallas Thursday night, leaving seven more officers and several civilians wounded.

The shooters, Dallas police chief David Brown said, were “working together with rifles triangulated at elevated positions" when they opened fire on the peaceful crowd of about 1,000 people. Three suspects are in custody and a fourth was killed after an hours-long standoff with police.

Here's what we know so far about the officers who were killed in the shooting and how they lived.

Advertisement

Lorne Ahrens, 48

The Dallas Morning News reported that Ahrens, a 14-year-veteran of the Dallas police, was among the victims of Thursday night's attack. The Dallas Police Department has not confirmed Ahrens' death.

Michael Smith, 55

Facebook

Local TV station KFDM spoke with family members of Michael Smith, who said the longtime Dallas police officer was one of the shooting victims in Thursday night's attack. The Dallas Police Department has not confirmed Smith's death.

Sponsored

According to KFDM, Smith is originally from the southeastern Texas town of Port Arthur. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School and Lamar University and served in the Army. He has been with the Dallas police since 1989.

Facebook

TV station WFAA spoke with Smith's brother-in-law, who said the Smith was married and had two young daughters. The unidentified relative had recently discussed the prospect of retirement with Smith, but the 55-year-old police officer told him he wanted to remain with the police force.

Advertisement

Michael Krol, 40

Sheriff Benny Napoelon of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan told The Detroit News that Krol, a former deputy, died in the sniper attack. The Dallas Police Department has not confirmed Krol’s death.

Krol's brother-in-law Brian Schoenbaechler told The Washington Post that the Michigan native had long aspired to be a police officer. He previously worked as a hospital security guard and in the Wayne County jail system before moving to Dallas in 2007 for the opportunity to take a job with the Dallas Police Department.

Advertisement

“He was living a dream of being a police officer," said Susan Ehlke, Krol's mother, told Detroit TV station WXYZ. "[He] just turned 40 in April. He knew the danger of the job but he never shied away from his duty as a police officer. He was a great caring person and wanted to help people."

Patrick Zamarripa, 32

Facebook

Zamarripa's death has not yet been confirmed by Dallas police, but his father, Rick Zamarripa, told The Washington Post his son was one of the officers killed by a sniper in downtown Dallas.

Advertisement

Advertisement

According to his father, Zamarripa had served in the Dallas Police Department for 5 years. He had previously served in the U.S. Navy, having enlisted right after high school, served for three tours of duty in Iraq.

He was married to Kristy Villasenor and had a two-year-old daughter, Lyncoln.

Facebook

On his Twitter account, Zamarripa frequently posted about his job with the police department, his support for Dallas-area sports teams, and just his general day-to-day life.

Brent Thompson, 43

Thompson was an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority. He is the first DART officer to be killed in the line of duty since the agency's incorporation in 1989.

Advertisement

Advertisement

The DART police are a separate law enforcement agency from the Dallas Police Department, working primarily on the city's buses and railway system. Thompson joined the transit police in 2009 and served the organization admirably, DART Chief James Spiller told MSNBC.

"This is very heartbreaking for us…we will definitely miss him, and we are also making sure that his family is taken care of," Spiller said.

Spiller also told MSNBC that Thompson had just been married in the last two weeks.

Advertisement

Thompson's LinkedIn profile shows that he attended high school and college in the Dallas suburb of Corsicana, Texas. His family is well-known in the area with his father, Sam, working as the athletic director at the local school district and his brother Lowell serving as Navarro County District Attorney.

Prior to working for DART, his profile says he worked at the Navarro Police Academy and as an international police liaison officer for DynCorp International in Iraq and Afghanistan following U.S. military campaigns there.

As part of that work, Thompson was interviewed by The New York Times for a 2006 article about the difficulties he encountered training police forces in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Advertisement

Advertisement

In June, American officials dispatched an eight-man DynCorp “saturation” training team to Lashkar Gah. Brent Thompson, a 33-year-old former police officer from Dallas who heads the team, said American officials calculated that six Afghan policemen were dying for every soldier in the National Army who was killed.

Half of the saturation team’s two-week training course is devoted to teaching Afghan police military skills, like how to launch or survive an ambush. Mr. Thompson, who trained the police in Iraq for DynCorp, said the Afghan police were more poorly equipped than their Iraqi counterparts. In one recent Afghan class, he said, 40 police officers shared 15 rifles.

As of early July, the training segment that involved police firing their rifles was on hold. Security problems had delayed the delivery of ammunition to Lashkar Gah, according to Mr. Thompson.

Photos posted on Thompson's Facebook page show him with several children and at least one young three-year-old grandchild whom Thompson said in a Facebook photo he shared a birthday with.

Facebook
Facebook

This post will be updated when the identities of the other four deceased officers are released.