Friends, loved ones and colleagues of Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol gathered Thursday evening to comfort one another and celebrate his life.
The visitation for the fallen officer was at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. It was open to the public but closed to the media.
Senior Corporal Ivan Saldana spent three months working alongside Krol as his partner. In that short time, the men became close. Saldana said Krol loved his job and was devoted to his girlfriend and her children.
“He was a kind man. He had a kind heart,” Saldana said.” He was noble. He always treated people right."
Krol joined the southwest division Foxtrot unit of DPD about a year ago. Saldana said the 6’3” Detroit native stood out in a crowd.
"Sometimes we joke, doing our job at night, that he's so white that he glows in the dark,” Saldana recalled.
It's funny and I always joke with him, ‘You're going to scare some people! You look like a ghost running in the dark.’ But that was Krol. That was my partner Krol."
Saldana was at the intersection of Main and Lamar when he and his unit were ambushed by the gunman last Thursday.
Krol was killed along with Officer Lorne Ahrens. Saldana, who was hit by shrapnel, said his two buddies were riding in the same patrol car that night.
"One of the best protests that we had covered. One of the best,” he said. “Everything was going fine until that moment."
It’s been a rough week for Saldana. On Monday, the veteran officer broke down at a vigil outside city hall, honoring the five fallen officers.
As much as he wanted to be there, Saldana couldn't bring himself to attend Krol's visitation in Plano.
Saldana wants the public to know Krol was very aware of recent officer-involved shooting and the growing tension between police and the African American community, prompting Krol to request a body cam.
"He was always very concerned about that,” said Saldana. “As soon as he could, he volunteered to have his camera because he didn't want no one to frame him like he was doing something wrong or treat people not the right way."
Saldana said watching his partner die has changed him and hopes the Dallas tragedy will truly be a turning point in the way police and the public treat one another.
"It's going to take a lot from each and everybody,” he said. “Look at yourself in the mirror. Start changing yourself."
Saldana said he will attend Krol’s funeral on Friday. The service is being held at 11 a.m. at the same church. Immediately following the funeral, the honor guard will hold a 21-gun salute, a flyover and flag presentation.
Krol will be buried in Southfield, Michigan.