Soon after the Thursday night shooting, the first death was confirmed. Overnight, the death toll climbed. By early Friday morning, five officers were dead. At a press conference, Dallas Police Chief David Brown expressed his disbelief.
"We’re hurting, our profession is hurting, Dallas officers are hurting. The suspect said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people," Brown said. "None of that makes sense. None of that is a legitimate reason to do harm to anyone."
The names of three victims had been confirmed by Friday afternoon. Brent Thompson, the DART officer — as well as Patrick Zamarripa and Michael Krol, both Dallas cops.
Thompson was 43. He is the first officer killed in the line of duty since DART formed a police department in 1989. Thompson joined DART in 2009. He had just gotten married in the past couple weeks. Three other transit officers were injured. Morgan Lyons, a spokesperson for DART, said the agency is helping the families of those affected.
"Obviously everybody is very sad. This is new territory for us. This is new and painful territory for us," Lyons said over the phone. "So we’re rallying around each other, trying to support each other, certainly focusing our attention on our police officers who have a very hard job to do."
Patrick Zamarripa, the Dallas Police officer, was 32. He served three tours in Iraq for the U.S. Navy. On Twitter, his stepbrother described him as a family man. Zamarripa attended the Fort Worth school district, and he leaves behind two small children and a wife.
Family man and military veteran. Just not right.
— Dylan Martinez (@KDylanMartinez) July 8, 2016
Michael Krol, 40, was a Michigan-native. He served with the jail system in Wayne County, before moving to Dallas to join the police department.
Dallas Police Association Vice President Michael Mata says he feels lost and shocked. He said the four Dallas officers who were killed were model employees.
"All four of them took great pride in their work. All four did everything the right way. We had two that had long tenure in the department, one that was very close to retiring and we had two that were younger," Mata said. "They did everything citizens of Dallas expect from their police department. They were very courageous, and I think it’d be very hard to find anyone who’d say a sour word about any of the four."
Mata said the Dallas Police Association has reached out to all affected families and will provide financial assistance and counseling. A GoFundMe page has been set up in honor of DART officer Thompson.
Michael Krol, 40
"He wanted to do more, that's kind of how he was. He wanted to make everything better," Krol's uncle Jim Ehlke told WDIV Detroit. "It was probably the most frustrating thing for him — he couldn't solve it all."
NPR confirmed Krol's death with his sister, Aime, who described him as "a gentle giant who loved his job."
She says their family is "devastated" and "in shock."
Michael Krol served with the jail system in Wayne County, Mich., before heading to Dallas to pursue a career as a police officer there, according to Detroit local media.
"We are saddened by the loss of the dedicated officers in Dallas — one of whom was a former member of this agency — and also the wounding of the other officers," Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said in a statement Friday morning. "Those officers made the ultimate sacrifice and died honoring their oaths to protect and serve. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and also the Dallas Police Department."
"He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer," Ehlke toldClick On Detroit. "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."
It was a gamble for Krol, The Washington Post reports. His brother-in-law Brian Schoenbaechler told the paper he left his family and familiar surroundings for Dallas for a very simple reason: "He said, 'This is something that I wanted to do.'"
To Click On Detroit, Ehlke added: "He was all in, he was all in."
Lorne Ahrens, 48
Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens served with the Dallas Police Department for 14 years — and he did so often with a grin, his fellow officer Steve Stribley told The Dallas Morning News.
"He was always one of the happy ones, with a smile on his face," Stribley told the paper. He said Ahrens was "an incredibly loving and devoted husband and father. Greatly respected veteran of the department."
To his younger brothers, he was also a father figure with a strong sense of responsibility that, his half-brother Jeffery Sonner told NPR, carried over into his policing work.
"He should be remembered doing his duty, and he was out there just protecting the citizens," Sonner said.
The married father of two — a "big ol' boy," his father-in-law told The Washington Post — wasn't afraid of getting physical on the playing field. The paper reports he played a few years of semiprofessional football in California, where he had grown up outside Los Angeles.
He moved to Texas shortly after his wedding, according to The Post.
Michael Smith, 55
Smith, an Army veteran, had been on the Dallas Police force for more than 25 years, KFDM reports.
The Dallas Police Association, when it recognized him with a "Cops' Cop" award in 2009, noted his can-do attitude and willingness to pay out of pocket for advanced training. It praised a racquetball program for local kids he founded at the YMCA, and wrote that he once took a blow to the head to protect his partner.
He had been married for nearly two decades, with two teenage children, The Dallas Morning News reports.