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Dallas Rally Shooting Victims

AP Photo / LM Otero

Dallas Rally Shooting Victims

Five police officers were killed and seven other officers wounded late Thursday and early Friday in a sniper attack at a protest rally in downtown Dallas, Texas, according to multiple news sources.

The police were present to keep order at the peaceful demonstration, which was held to protest the recent police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling of Louisiana and Philando Castile of Minnesota, in separate incidents.

President Barack Obama, who was attending a NATO summit news conference in Poland, reacted to the latest spate of violence.

"Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us," Obama said of law enforcement.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit tweeted, "DART grieving the loss of Ofc Brent Thompson, 43, killed during Thurs protest. First DART officer killed in line of duty. Joined DART 2009."

"Our hearts are broken," a news release by DART said. Three other DART officers who were wounded in the attack are expected to recover from their injuries, the release said.

Also on Twitter, Dylan Martinez identified his stepbrother Patrick Zamarripa as one of the victims.

"No father should have to bury his son, Martinez tweeted. "You are a hero, Patrick. Love you man. #PrayforDallas"

Martinez's tweet included a photo of Zamarripa in uniform standing with his father.

Lorne Ahrens, 48, was a Senior Cpl. who had served with the Dallas Police Department for 14 years. A former semi-pro football player, he made an impression with his 6-foot-5 stature. Yet, he's also remembered for his soft side, especially when it came to his children; according to his father-in-law, he enjoyed taking them fishing and to the movies, and more than once, went to his daughter’s school in uniform to talk about policing and safety. 

He was married to a woman who shared his profession – Katrina Ahrens, a Dallas police detective who worked with the Crimes Against Persons division.

A native of Michigan, Michael Krol, 40, became a member of the Dallas Police Department nine years ago. He was one of the victims of Friday's sniper shootings there. 

Krol's uncle remembers his nephew as being passionate about helping others. He also said that being an officer was Krol's life dream. 

"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. "He was all in, he was all in." 

Michael Smith, 55, was a Sergeant with the Dallas Police Department and a U.S. Army veteran who served as an Army Ranger. He attended the Lamar Institute of Technology. The father of two girls had considered retirement, according to his brother-in-law, but decided it was more important for him to stay on and support the police force.

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