'Run for the Blue' event honors fallen officers, including 5 officers killed in Downtown Dallas ambush

Dallas police officers and their supporters gathered for a run Saturday morning in honor of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The annual Run For The Blue especially pays tribute to the five officers who were ambushed in 2016 and shot by a gunman during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.

The event also shows respect for officers still on the force. 

The crowd was made up of people of all ages.

A run to honor and pay respect to the four Dallas PD officers and one DART police officer killed in the line of duty seven years ago.

"Today we’re honoring true heroes, people who literally ran toward danger while hundreds of others were running away," Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes said.

Both Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Noakes took part in the 5K run, which was hosted by the Blue Guardian Foundation, and they ran in full uniform. 

"We are family, it’s a sacrifice, we’re prepared to give our lives for one another and our community. There’s no other profession like that. We do so willingly," Garcia said.

The event also included a one-mile walk.

Both races were held to mark seven years since the ambush by a solo gunman who targeted and killed five officers: Dallas Police Department officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Patrick Zamarripa, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer Brent Thompson.


Dallas Police Ambush: Friday marks 7 years since Downtown Dallas attack

Several events are planned for Friday and Saturday to mark seven years since the ambush in Downtown Dallas that left five police officers dead.

"Our message to our fallen warriors is this: rest easy brothers, your sacrifice will never be forgotten and we will continue to honor you all and the rest of our fallen with their brave actions," Garcia said.

Zamarripa’s father, Rich, shared his appreciation of all the support following the tragedy. 

"I learn to live with it. It’s hard, it really is. I have my good days and I have my bad days. But with strength in my Lord Jesus Christ, I’ll get through this," he said.

He added that his faith is what’s helping him cope with his son's death and the four other officers who lost their lives.

"I know Patrick’s up in heaven watching me, pulling for me," he added. "I just want to thank everybody for being here and God bless the city of Dallas.

The shooting back in 2016 happened during a Black Lives Matter protest that was peaceful until the gunman stated firing into the crowd.

MORE: July 7, 2016 Downtown Dallas Police Ambush Coverage

"You can ask for police reform, and at the same time support police officers. They’re not individuals to themselves, two different things. You can be on both sides of the line," Dallas PD Sgt. Arturo Martinez said.

Police used a robot and explosives to kill the shooter, who was firing from inside a building several stories above the crowds.

Terrie Berry’s husband, who is a Dallas police officer, worked the day of the deadly shooting. 

"You begin to put things in perspective and to think more about, I guess, what you can do for your family. How to be safe, just your relationships with people," she said.

Click here to donate to the Blue Guardian Foundation.

The non-profit helps officers with severe medical conditions.