Hundreds attend vigil for slain Dallas officers

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The memories of the five officers killed in Thursday night's ambush were kept alive on Monday with personal tributes for the DART officer and Dallas police officers that were killed.

Hundreds of people went to support the officers' families and police departments at the emotional candlelight vigil at Dallas City Hall.

Each officer received a personal tribute from the friends and families that knew them best.

“There is one word that I am able to describe him by. There is one word that I am able to use to describe Brent Thompson.” said DART Officer Kyser, friend of the slain DART officer. “Brent Thompson was my friend and I loved him.”

“His commitment and his work ethic were contagious and others strived to be better just because of him,” said Officer Josh Rodriguez, friend of slain DPD Officer Patrick Zamarripa. “But it wasn’t just at work. Outside of work, people could not help but to feed off of his positive energy and enjoy his goofiness or his heartwarming smile.”

“I always knew if I needed someone to be there, he would come,” said Officer Gregorich, friend of slain DPD Officer Michael Krol. “We will miss you, but we will never forget you. Thank you, Michael Krol, for being a great friend.”

“Lorne then grabbed me by the shoulder and said, ‘Don’t worry brother. I got you back. I’d take a bullet for you,’” said Sr. Cpl. Jaime Castro, friend of slain DPD Officer Lorne Ahrens. “That’s when I knew Lorne had what it took to be a 30-80. And above that, a great Dallas police officer.

“I, and most that loved Mike the most, choose to honor his legacy by choosing, cause it is a choice, not to let our anger drag us into a darker place,” said Sr. Cpl. St. John, friend of slain DPD Officer Michael Smith. “But instead, we choose to continue Mike’s fight for good and to not let the evil prevail.”

The families of the officers were at the candlelight vigil, but it was specifically designed for the public. Dallas police say they are so overwhelmed with support after the shooting. Organizers wanted a way to allow the public to have a chance to grieve as well.

Three of the deceased Dallas police officers came from the same unit -- the Southwest Division Foxtrot Unit. Some of the members attended Monday’s vigil.

The officers talked about witnessing their colleagues and their friends lose their lives Thursday night. Three of the injured officers were also part of the same unit.

The unit has lost half its men and women to death or injury. Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol and Patrick Zammarripa were the officers in their unit who were killed. Gretchen Rocha, Ivan Saldana and Jorge Barrientos were injured.

“To be honest with you, it's rough. In a matter of 7 minutes, I lost half of my crew,” said Sgt. Ivan Gunter. “I can't replace that. I can't replace their laughter. I can't replace his wit. I can’t replace the intellect. His ability to analyze a situation. investigation. He was a former investigator. Those investigative skills combined with his street skills were invaluable. You just can’t find that today.”

"I was getting ready to shower and go to bed. And then I got a phone call and a text that said report to duty immediately,” recalled Sr. Cpl. Ruben Lozano. “Without hesitation, I put the uniform on and I went because I knew that they were gonna need some help.”

“It was a straight ambush. He just ambushed us. And he target them because they were the biggest white guys in our group,” said Sr. Cpl. Ivan Zaldana through tears. “It’s not right.”

Dallas Police Chief David Brown also spoke at the vigil.

“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,” said Chief Brown. “Look. It’s a train. It’s a plane. No, it’s Patricio Zamarripa. Look, it’s Brent Thompson. Look, it’s Michael Krol. Look, it’s Lorne Ahrens. Look, it’s Michael Smith. God speed.