It was five years ago that a gunman ambushed officers in downtown Dallas which left five officers dead and injured several officers and civilians.
Five Officers Killed
- Sgt. Michael Smith
- Sr. Corporal Lorne Ahrens
- Ofc. Michael Krol
- Ofc. Patrick Zamarripa
- DART Ofc. Brent Thompson
On Wednesday, officers, family, friends, and the community took time to pause and reflect on what happened five years ago.
At the DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Police Headquarters, the department held a ceremony in remembrance of Thompson.
"It's a very somber mood right now with the entire DART agency," said Gordon Shattles, Director of External Affairs for DART.
Inside the building, there are several memorials in remembrance of the officers who lost their lives that night. There's a glass display that is specifically for Thompson which holds his uniform and boots.
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"We wanted to go the extra step to make sure people remember him and his service in the next 10, 20 years, he will always be part of the DART family and so will his family," said Shattles.
Thompson, who was a former Marine, was 43-years-old when he died. He was the first DART officer to ever be killed in the line of duty.
To those who were first to respond to the shooting on July 7, the memory of what happened still remains very fresh.
"It still feels like it was yesterday," said Alex Eastman, who is currently a Lieutenant and Chief Medical Officer for the Dallas Police Department.
He wore many hats the night of the shooting, he was a SWAT officer and was also the chief of trauma at Parkland Hospital at that time.
“I just remember the news never got good that night and kept getting bad things piled upon us and seeing more horrific things," said Eastman.
He said he was inside the Dallas College's El Centro campus helping provide aid to those who were wounded, which included his brothers and sisters in blue.
“It’s certainly most single-handedly, the most challenging night of my career and I think one that will color what I do both personally and professionally for the rest of my life," said Eastman as he reflected on that night.
He said a picture that was taken of him and other first responders reminds him of the intensity and overwhelming emotions from that night.
"I remember going home from that in the morning and my son, who just had turned two at the time was asleep in his crib and he was sleeping so soundly and so peacefully. It struck me, he was blissfully unaware, and thankfully so, of what happened to his dad, to the police my teammates, and the police department of this great city, and that was the first time of many that I cried," said Eastman.