Memorial Service held for slain Dallas officers, president calls for unity

DALLAS, TEXAS (KUSI) — 7/12/2016  President and Mrs. Obama, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady, Laura Bush were present at a memorial service Tuesday for the five officers killed in the Dallas shootings last week.

According to CNN, President Obama called for unity, asking "Americans to corral their anger and sadness and push for the change society needs."

"I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace. Weeping may endure for a night but I’m convinced joy comes in the morning," President Obama said.

Details of the deadly shooting continue to emerge, but Tuesday’s memorial was to honor the brave men and their families for their sacrifice.

  • DART Officer Brent Thompson was the first officer to die in that agency’s line of duty. "Brent was a great officer," said James Spiller, police chief of DART. "He was an outstanding patrol officer as well as a rail officer. We have the highest respect for him."
  • Officer Patrick Zamarripa was a U.S. Navy veteran who was deployed to Bahrain as part of the Iraq War effort, military records show. He was the father of two children and greatly loved by his own father, Rick Zamarripa.

  • Officer Michael Krol‘s lifelong dream was to be a police officer, his uncle, Jim Ehlke, told CNN affiliate WDIV. "He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer. He spent some time at the correctional facility. It wasn’t quite what he was looking for, so he worked pretty hard to find a job and got one in Dallas," Ehlke said.

  • Dallas Officer Lorne Ahrens was a great co-worker, said Sgt. Anthony Gunn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. "He was the kind of guy that it made you happy when you got to work and saw he would be working the shift with you. You could count on him to do the right thing, the right way.

  • Dallas police Officer Michael Smith was among the dead, according to CNN affiliate KFDM and local media reports. Smith joined the department in 1989, his sister told CNN affiliate KFDM.

According to CNN, five chairs were left empty with a folded American Flag on each one to represent each man. 

Obama praised police for protecting and serving the people.

"Like police officers across the country, these men and their families shared a commitment to something larger than themselves," the President said. "… The reward comes in knowing that our entire way of life in America depends on the rule of law, that the maintenance of that law is a hard and daily labor, that in this country, we don’t have soldiers in the streets or militias setting the rules. Instead, we have public servants, police officers, like the men who were taken away from us."

Former president, George W. Bush, also called for unity.

"At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. … Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions," Mr. Bush said.

According to CNN, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Police Chief David Brown also addressed the crowd.

"We will mourn together, and together is the key word here. We may be sad, but we will not dwell in self-pity. We may weep, but we will never whine. For we have too much work to be done. We have too many bridges to build that we will cross together," Mayor Rawlings said.

CNN also reported that after the memorial, President Obama and Mr. Bush met with the families of the slain officers.

7/11/2016 — Monday night, a vigil for the five law enforcement officers killed in last week’s shooting rampage was held in Dallas.

More than a thousand people turned out for the event and colleagues put up portraits of the officers, then some shared their memories of them.

An official service will be held to honor the slain officers Tuesday.

At a news conference on Monday, a surgeon who treated the victims talked about that night.

According to CNN, Dr. Brian H. Williams — a trauma surgeon at Parkland Memorial Hospital — was on call the night of the shooting.

Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon Monday night, he said that the experience has affected him deeply and was like "this bad movie on an endless loop."

He added: "Going to work has forced me to kind of push it aside temporarily but it continues to break through.

"I’m thinking about the officers and their families and the men that were killed in Baton Rouge and Minnesota last week and I compare my situation to theirs and it’s hard for me to focus on myself right now."

Dr. Williams said that ever since that night, he has replayed each situation in his mind over and over again.

"I think about it everyday that I was unable to save those cops when they came here that night," Williams said in an interview with CNN. "It weighs on my mind constantly. This killing, it has to stop."

"This experience has been very personal for me and a turning point in my life," said Williams, who is African-American. "We routinely care for multiple gunshot victims. But the preceding days of more black men dying at the hands of police officers affected me. I think the reasons are obvious. I fit that demographic of individuals. But I abhor what has been done to these officers and I grieve with their families."

President and Mrs. Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former president, George W. Bush are expected to attend an official ceremony on Thursday.

President Obama also plants to meet with families of the fallen officers.

In the days following the deadly shootings in Dallas, protests have erupted all over the nation.

"Black Lives Matter," protesters crowed streets in Atlanta, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; 

"We are here to fully support those conversations — and my door has always been open," said Mayor Jim Strickland of Tennesee said Sunday night in a statement after Interstate 40 for had been closed for a few hours by protesters.

"But we want to do it in a legal way, as well. Let me be clear: you can exercise your First Amendment rights without breaking the law."

There are many reactions to the protests. Some say they are justified and others say they aren’t.

But a class reaction came from the Dallas Police Chief David Brown, a man who is dealing with the deaths of several of his officers.

He had some direct words for those who are on the streets.

Chief Brown encouraged those who have been protesting to get off the protest line and apply for a job.

"We’re hiring," he said. "We’ll give you an application. We’ll help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about."

7/8/2016 10:00 p.m. — The officers killed in Dallas Thursday night have been identified by family members and law enforcement officials, per CNN.

  • DART Officer Brent Thompson was the first officer to die in that agency’s line of duty. "Brent was a great officer," said James Spiller, police chief of DART. "He was an outstanding patrol officer as well as a rail officer. We have the highest respect for him."
  • Officer Patrick Zamarripa was a U.S. Navy veteran who was deployed to Bahrain as part of the Iraq War effort, military records show. He was the father of two children and greatly loved by his own father, Rick Zamarripa.

  • Officer Michael Krol‘s lifelong dream was to be a police officer, his uncle, Jim Ehlke, told CNN affiliate WDIV. "He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer. He spent some time at the correctional facility. It wasn’t quite what he was looking for, so he worked pretty hard to find a job and got one in Dallas," Ehlke said.

  • Dallas Officer Lorne Ahrens was a great co-worker, said Sgt. Anthony Gunn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. "He was the kind of guy that it made you happy when you got to work and saw he would be working the shift with you. You could count on him to do the right thing, the right way.

  • Dallas police Officer Michael Smith was among the dead, according to CNN affiliate KFDM and local media reports. Smith joined the department in 1989, his sister told CNN affiliate KFDM.

12:05 p.m. — Police believe that Micah Xavier Johnson acted alone in a shooting spree that left five officers dead and several more injured in Dallas, Texas, according to CNN.

"This was a mobile shooter who had written manifestos on how to shoot and move, shoot and move, and that’s what he did," Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a news conference Friday afternoon. "As we’ve started to unravel this fishing knot, we’ve come to realize this shooting came from one building at different levels."

Dallas shooting victims: Who are the slain officers?

According to CNN, law enforcement searched Johnson’s home and found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. It is confirmed that Johnson was a military veteran who’d served in Afghanistan.

San Diego Bishop Issues Statement on Deadly Attack in Dallas

Dallas police also indicated that it was possible additional suspects were involved in the shootings that occurred Thursday night. 

Nobody has been charged, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, but police are following every lead.

Friday afternoon, thousands gathered in Dallas for a vigil at Thanksgiving Square, praying and showing support for those officers who lost their lives during the shooting.

7:20 a.m. — The suspect killed in an attack on Dallas police Thursday night has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson from Mesquite, Texas. 

After a four-hour SWAT standoff and long negotiations, police sent in a bomb robot to kill Johnson, who was one shooter in the attack that killed five officers and injured nine more, two of which were civilians. 

According to CNN, Johnson was a military veteran who’d served in Afghanistan. He has no known ties to terror organizations and no criminal history, according to the Los Angeles Times.

California State Sheriff’s Association statement on Dallas

6:00 a.m. — Police were still uncertain that they have identified everyone involved in the attack on Dallas police at a rally protesting recent fatal police shootings. Five officers were killed and seven were injured in what is believed to be a sniper attack. Two civilians were also injured.

One of the suspects told police he was upset over recent police shootings of black men and wanted to kill white people, Police Chief David Brown said at a news conference Friday.

5:00 a.m. — Five officers were killed and seven were injured in a sniper attack on Dallas police Thursday night, according to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Two civilians were also injured, the mayor said. Earlier reports had 11 officers injured. 

The mayor said no one wounded is suffering life-threatening injuries. 

4:40 a.m. — An overnight SWAT standoff with a fourth suspect in downtown Dallas ended after police used explosives to "blast him out," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. 

During the standoff the suspect mentioned several bombs planted around the city, but an extensive sweep by Dallas police found no signs of explosives. 

A memorial group said the attack on Dallas police officers is one of the deadliest in U.S. Law Enforcement history. 

Mayor Kevin Faulconer issues statement on Dallas

2:30 a.m. — President Barack Obama, from Warsaw, Poland spoke on the Sniper attacks in Dallas that left five officers dead and six wounded, calling it "a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement."

The President went on to say the nation should express its gratitude to those serving in law enforcement.

President Obama is in Poland meeting with members of the European Union at a NATO conference. 

12:30 a.m. — Four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer have died after snipers opened fire on police in downtown Dallas at a rally protesting recent fatal police shootings. 6 others were wounded. 

The DART officer was identified as 43-year-old officer Brent Thompson. He joined the DART Police Department in 2009.

Thompson was the first officer killed in the line of duty since the agency formed a police department in 1989, according to DART officials.

"Our hearts are broken," DART officials said. 

DART says the other three DART police officers shot during the protest are expected to recover from their injuries.

Three people were in custody, police said while a fourth suspect continued to exchange gunfire with Dallas police in a downtown parking garage. 

7/7/2016 10:30 p.m. — Dallas police are negotiating with a suspect at a parking garage in downtown Dallas, Chief David Brown said.

Police have been exchanging gunfire with the suspect for 45 minutes, according to CNN.

During a press conference with Mayor Mike Rawlings and Chief Brown, they reported that during negotiations, the suspect said, "the end is coming … and there are bombs all over the place."

9:34 p.m. — The Dallas Police Department said the man in photos being circulated around social media turned himself in.

The Dallas Police Department put out a photo on its Twitter account late Thursday of a man wearing a camouflage shirt and holding a rifle with the message: "This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!" 

The man in the photo, Mark Hughes, turned himself in immediately after seeing his photo circulating. Hughes told Dallas TV station KTVT that in a 30-minute interrogation, police lied, telling him they had video of him shooting. But videos posted online show Hughes walking around peacefully during the shooting and later turning over his gun to a police officer. He was released.

According to the Los Angeles Times, this is what we know so far:

  • 11 officers shot 
  • 4 dead 
  • 1 suspect in custody 
  • 1 person of interest has turned himself in

“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches and garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could,” Brown said.

A suspicious package was also found and was being secured, according to Dallas police.

9:17 p.m. — Dallas Police Chief confirms a fourth officer has died from wounds sustained during the shootings.

9:15 p.m. — Dallas police said suspects, "have threatened to plant a bomb in the downtown area."

Chief Brown said they were conducting a thorough search of the area for any additional threats and suspects.

8:45 p.m. — Ten officers were shot — three killed — during protests in Dallas as crowds gathered to demand justice after officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.

According to WFAA in Dallas, Police Chief David Brow confirmed that two snipers hit 10 officers, killing three of them

"Tonight it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally," Brown wrote in a statement. "Three officers are deceased, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition. An intensive search for suspects is currently underway … "

The protests in Dallas were just one of of several protests happening across the country.

In Minnesota, where Philando Castile was shot and killed Wednesday by an officer, crowds gathered at the governor’s residence in St. Paul, just miles from where the shooting occurred.

In Louisiana, protesters stood outside the convenience store where Alton Sterling was fatally shot on Tuesday.

According to CNN, protesters shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. In New York, 1,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue.

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.

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