Funeral services held for Dallas' fallen officers
DALLAS - Funeral services were held Wednesday for three of the five officers killed in last week's police ambush in downtown Dallas.
DPD Sgt. Michael Smith
The funeral mass for Sgt. Michael Smith was held Wednesday morning at the Mary Immaculate Church in Farmers Branch, where he and his family are involved parishioners.
Smith was an Army veteran who had been on the Dallas police force 28 years. His wife, Heidi, teaches fourth grade at Mary Immaculate's school. One of his daughters is going into fourth grade at the school and the other just graduated from eighth grade there.
Pastor Michael Forge said that on the night of the shooting he sat with Smith's family at the hospital. Smith's 9-year-old daughter Caroline asked him why God would do this.
"God didn't do this. The anti-God did this. The evil one did this," he told her.
He later learned that Smith had made it a special point to kiss his daughter goodbye that day. He kissed her like it might be the last time he ever got to kiss or hug her.
"God did that. That's what God does," the pastor said.
Sgt. Smith is remembered as a man who was all about love and always put himself above others. He mentored children to put them on the right path.
Smith's sister said it is difficult to accept that her brother is gone.
"My heart is broken and my heart is full of rage. Unjustifiably killed," she said. "What would he say? Tell me to pray. Listen to your heart."
She told the officers and peace makers in the church that they were the world's guardian angels.
Smith had a second church family at Watermark Church in North Dallas, where he worked security. A public funeral service is planned there for noon on Thursday. Other officers from around the Dallas and around the country are expected there.
Smith will be buried in Restland Memorial Park's Garden of Honor Wednesday afternoon.
DART Officer Brent Thompson
Officer Brent Thompson was also honored Wednesday morning at The Potter's House Church in West Oak Cliff.
Thompson was a veteran of the U.S. Marines who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He worked in security and at schools in his hometown of Corsicana before taking at job for Dallas Area Rapid Transit in 2009. He is the first DART officer to ever be killed in the line of duty.
The 43-year-old leaves behind a new bride, six children and three grandchildren. He and his wife, also a DART officer, were married less than a month ago and had actually filed their marriage license of the morning of the shooting.
During the service, Emily Thompson said goodbye to a man she called a fighter, warrior, hero and the love of her life. She called the shooter a coward and said his hate has only made people stronger.
"This act of violence hurt law enforcement as a whole. However, good will always prevail. Though I'm heartbroken and hurt, I'm going to put on my badge and my uniform and return to the street along with all of my brothers and sisters in blue," she said.
Emily also urged the officers in the crowd to continue Brent's mission to protect and serve.
"On Brent's behalf, I'm asking you all to continue on," she said. "Press on. He has your six."
Thompson's children stood up to talk about his legacy, which they said no one can take away.
"Goodbye daddy, we love you. Be safe," they said.
Thompson visitation was in his hometown of Corsicana. His burial services will be private.
DPD Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens
Funeral services for Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens were held just before noon Wednesday at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
Thousands of officers from across the country packed the church.
Ahrens was known for his larger than life presence. He was a member of the Southwest Division Foxtrot Unit, which lost half of its members to death or injury in just seven minutes Thursday night.
During his service, Officer Debbie Taylor affectionately referred to him as a "super-sized can of kick ass." She said everything is bigger in Texas and that definitely included Ahrens with his 6 foot 4 inches and 300 pound frame.
"Not only was he bigger in physical stature, but his personality, his heart and his enthusiasm for police work... his passion for his fellow officers and his devotion to his family were all larger than life," she said.
The 48-year-old officer from Burleson was also remembered for the time he broke through burglar bars with his bare hands and for being an "old school" police officer who worked hard, impressed his peers and set an example.
"Approaching a fence, Joe hopped over the fence and saw Lorne taking his big steps simply stomp down the fence," recalled Taylor. "And he kept on trucking like the fence wasn't even there. Yes, they caught the bad guy."
"Lorne would come to the academy every day full of energy. Later I found out he was sleeping on the floor of his apartment," recalled another officer. "We gave him some furniture and a bed. And you would have thought I hung the moon."
Friends say he let his young son and daughter know the only thing better to Ahren than wearing a badge was being their daddy.
"Celebrate his life by taking care of one another, and watching out for each other at work. Celebrate his life by telling Lorne stories and laughing out loud," another officer said at the service. "But please, please celebrate his life by being there for his family long after the media attention goes away and time moves forward."
He leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 10 and 8.
He was buried Wednesday afternoon at Restland.
Ahrens moved from Los Angeles, where he played semi-pro football player for the LA County Sheriff's Office. In 2002, he landed in Texas and joined the Dallas police force where he served for 14 years.
DPD Officer Patrick Zamarripa
A visitation for Officer Patrick Zamarripa will be held on Friday 6 to 9 p.m. at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth. His funeral services will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. and he will be buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
DPD Officer Michael Krol
Visitation for Michael Krol will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Prestonwood. Krol will be buried in his hometown near Detroit.