FORT WIORTH, Texas - Hundreds of police officers, friends and loved ones gathered Friday to pay their final respects at a rosary service for slain DPD Officer Patrick Zamarripa. The Navy veteran who served three tours overseas was also given a posthumous promotion during the service.
The Catholic service lasted about two hours long. The family wanted everyone to know about Zamarripa and his life.
A processional of police motorcycle units and patrol cars arrived Friday afternoon at the Wilkerson Greines Athletic Center in Fort Worth for a rosary service. Zamarripa was born and raised in Fort Worth
The slain officer played baseball for Paschal High School, where he graduated in 2001. He was a Rangers fan, Cowboys fan and father of two.
Zamarripa spent 15 years in the Navy as an MP, served three tours in Iraq and was with DPD for seven years.
His best friend, Arturo Martinez, spoke of Patrick's ability to make friends with literally anyone.
"It didn't matter what religion you were. It didn't matter where you were from. This guy was a humanitarian,” Martinez said. “He served his country his entire adult life, whether it was at the national level, at the municipal level or at the state level. I'm here to tell you Pat was amazing."
There was a very special moment in the service from U.S. Navy Captain Mark Hofmann when he awarded Zamarripa with a posthumous promotion, citing the oath to protect he took at DPD and in the Navy.
"He also kept that promise out at sea, halfway around the world in foreign waters,” Hofmann said. “So I take pride in sharing with you the fact tonight, I think the secret's been given up already, that PO 2 Petty officer Patricio Zamarripa has been posthumously promoted to Petty Officer First Class.”
One of the most powerful images came after the service concluded when the line to view the body of Zamarripa wrapped around the inside of the auditorium. It included officers from numerous departments across North Texas, the state, and country.
At several points, there were Dallas police officers stopping one by one to hug Zamarripa's mother and family.
Zamarripa’s funeral will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Wilkerson Greines Athletic Center in Fort Worth. His burial is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the DFW National Cemetery.