A Dallas police officer who survived three tours in Iraq with the Navy was one of the five officers killed in a sniper attack during a peaceful demonstration in Dallas Thursday night.
Patrick Zamarripa was killed in the shooting, his father, Rick Zamarripa, told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. The Pentagon confirmed his death.
The family is "still in shock," the Zamarripas said Friday.
Rick and and his wife Maria, Patrick's step-mother, texted Patrick when they saw the news at 10 p.m. but never got a response. Patrick had died at 9:17 p.m., they said.
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He liked being a police officer, and had a long history of serving the country, including eight years in active duty in the Navy.
Zamarripa joined the Navy soon after high school, his father said, and saw combat while working for the U.S. military police in Iraq. According to his service record, he did three tours in Iraq as a Naval security officer. His father said one of those tours was in Kuwait.
He got out of the service about five years ago and joined the the Dallas Police Department. Recently, he started working a bicycle patrol in downtown.
He served 8 years on active duty and another 5 years in reserves, according to his Navy Service Record. He was a recipient of multiple Navy awards and decorations, including the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Vice Admiral Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve, released a statement Friday in response to Zamarripa's death.
"The Navy family and, indeed, all of America grieve at the senseless loss of MA2 Zamarripa and his fellow police officers," Braun said. "Together they faithfully and honorably served their Nation and community and through their devotion to duty will forever stand as a shining example and source of inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to have known them."
"He comes to the United States to protect people here," Zamarripa said. "And they take his life."
Zamarripa's death was first reported by the The Washington Post.
Officer Zamarripa was married and the father of a 2-year-old daughter. Outside his devotion to helping people, he was an avid Rangers and Cowboys fan, his father said.
When the elder Zamarripa heard about the shootings, he texted his son, as he had many times before to ensure he was OK. This time, for the first time, he got no response.