8 years later: Dallas police, families, survivors honor fallen officers of 7/7 ambush

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Sunday marked eight years since the deadly ambush in downtown Dallas that left five police officers dead.

A peaceful demonstration was winding down downtown and nearing an end on July 7, 2016, when an armed man got out of his SUV and began to open fire on uniformed police officers, killing five including four DPD officers and one DART police officer.

A large group of demonstrators scattered as police officers ran toward the sound of gunfire.

The officers who were killed were Brent Thompson of Dallas Area Rapid Transit police, and four officers from the Dallas Police Department - Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Smith and Patrick Zamarripa.

Nine additional officers and two civilians were injured in the attack that ended after a tense standoff with the gunman.

“The events of July 7, 2016, forever changed the city of Dallas. It changed law enforcement,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia on Monday morning. “That evening they did what most could not do, they ran toward danger to keep our city safe.”

Garcia and other members of DPD, DART, and El Centro Dallas College police departments gathered for a remembrance ceremony organized by fallen DPD Officer Zamarripa’s father.

“Pat was real humble, giving, patient, kind,” said Rick Zamarripa during the event.

Those gathered also honored the selfless actions for others, like DART bus driver Donald Washington.

“He drove a dart bus right out here that night, under a hail of gunfire, loaded it up and took a lot of people to safety,” said retired state police commissioner Rob Kyker.

El Centro PD Sgt. Bryan Shaw was also in attendance.

Shaw is one of 9 officers shot during the rampage but stayed on during the hunt for the gunman, despite being injured.

 “Ladies and gentlemen, you get to meet a lot of heroes but here’s one tonight that continues to serve right here at El Centro, he still works here,” said Kyker.

Shaw, standing with his twin sons and wife Stephanie, received a standing ovation.

 While their loss is “still sharply felt,” Garcia said the department will forever honor their fallen by “treating individuals with respect, dignity, fairness, and by having no fear of the criminal element. We honor our fallen and in turn we carry on their legacy.”

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