Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the country have joined with Navy personnel to honor Patrick Zamarripa, one of the officers slain last week in Dallas by a gunman.
A traditional Catholic funeral service was held Saturday in Fort Worth for the 32-year-old Zamarripa, who served eight years on active duty in the Navy and then in the reserves before joining the police force.
Navy Veteran With An Urge to Serve
Zamarripa had an urge to serve — first in the Navy, where his family said he did three tours in Iraq, then back home in Texas as a Dallas police officer.
"He went over there (to Iraq) and didn't get hurt at all, and he comes back to the states and gets killed," his father, Rick Zamarripa, told The Associated Press by phone Friday.
Zamarripa, who would have turned 33 next month, was married with a 2-year-old daughter and 10-year-old stepson.
Zamarripa returned to Texas in 2009. He joined the Dallas force about five years ago and recently was assigned to downtown bicycle patrols, his father said.
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Dallas police Chief David Brown told those gathered that Zamarripa's service his community was deeply personal because he was willing to give his life to help others.
"I'm here to serve. We're here to serve. Service before all — and without love, it means nothing," Chief Brown said during the service.
"We're hurting; we are grieving. This family is hurting, is grieving. We need to know you support us, and this family needs to know that you support them," said Brown.
Saturday's funeral service was the first such service held at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center, and was expected to draw a crowd of more than 6,000 mourners.
Hundreds of officers from coast to coast attended.
"Nothing is going to take away the pain but to look to your left and your right and see your brothers and sisters in law enforcement come from a variety of agencies, it really helps with the healing process," said San Francisco Police Officer Shante Williams.
After the funeral service, the funeral procession followed East Interstate 20 to Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, where Zampirra's family held a private burial service.
Chopper 5 captured thousands lining I-20 to honor officer Zamarripa and his sacrifice.
Zamarripa was one of the five officers killed during a march protesting recent fatal shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana by police.
Funerals for the other officers were held earlier in the week.
Friday evening, Hundreds of mourners filled the athletic venue for a rosary service honoring Zamarripa.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown was in attendance, along with many of Zamarripa's fellow Dallas police officers and representatives from dozens of law enforcement agencies across the state and the country.
A crew of workers was busy Thursday setting the stage and placing 600 folding chairs on the floor of the facility.
Maddux, who has worked at the building since it first opened, said he has felt honored for the opportunity to help others mourn Zamarripa.
“This is the part that we can do to make it like [the shows of support in Dallas and other cities]” Maddux said. “To show that we care about what happened in Dallas.”