They were military veterans, husbands and fathers who served the city of Dallas – and died protecting the rights of fellow Americans to criticize their brethren in blue.
Five police officers – four from the city's main department and one from Dallas Area Rapid Transit were killed by a sniper late Thursday as they guarded anti-police brutality marches at a march. By Friday afternoon, three had been identified: Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, and Patrick Zamarripa.
Thompson, 43, who joined the Dallas Area Rapid Transit police department in 2009, was the first member of the 27-year-old department to die in the line of duty. A former Marine, he had married a fellow police officer just two weeks ago, officials said.
"Our hearts are broken," DART spokesperson Morgan Lyons said. "This is something that touches every part of our organization."
After serving in the Marines, Thompson later worked for a private Pentagon contractor that hired and trained Iraqi and Afghan police in the concepts of "democratic policing." The instruction included training in how to avoid an ambush, according to his LinkedIn page.
"I was responsible for the day to day operations conducted by our American police officers who trained and mentored the Iraqi Police," he wrote.
Krol, 40, was a Detroit native who joined the Dallas Police Department in 2007 after working as a sheriff's deputy in the Detroit area.
Zamarripa, 32, a five-year Dallas Police Department veteran, served three tours in Iraq with the Navy, according to the Washington Post. He was married and was the father of a 2-year-old daughter.
"He comes to the United States to protect people here," Zamarripa's father, Rick, told the Post. "And they take his life."
Three other DART officers were wounded, but they are expected to recover, Lyons said. They were identified as officers Omar Cannon, 44; Misty McBride, 32; and Jesus Retana, 39.