'Run For The Blue' held to remember Dallas officers killed in 2016 police ambush
DALLAS - Sunday marks three years since the police ambush in Downtown Dallas, when DPD Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Sergeant Michael Smith, Officer Patrick Zamarripa, and DART Police Officer Brent Thompson were killed.
A gunman opened fire, killing them on July 7, 2016.
To honor the officer's sacrifice, law enforcement and community members from across North Texas are taking part in remembrance events all weekend.
Families of each of the victims, their fellow officers, and members of the community are still healing from the tragedy.
Though the "Run For The Blue" event held Saturday morning is helping in that process.
As time passes, the heartbreak is still there...
“I love you so much, and I miss you,” Valerie Zamarripa, Patrick's mother, said.
It's been three years, but for the families of the five officers killed during the ambush attack, it feels like yesterday.
They still struggle to understand the outcome of that day.
"No matter what, good and bad, it doesn’t matter who you are. They have families. They have normal lives, just wear a uniform because that's their job,” Zamarripa added. “I was hoping that if he was injured, it was going to be okay. but ultimately, it wasn’t."
Now, Zamarripa’s mother wears a button with a picture of him every day to keep her son with her everywhere she goes.
Saturday morning, she wore it at the "Run For The Blue" event, a 5K and one-mile run & walk.
"I have a hole in my heart that will never heal,” she said. “But these things help me because he's not forgotten anymore."
More than 4,000 people packed Trinity Groves for the event.
Police Chief Renee Hall thanked them for showing their support to fallen and injured officers, as well as their families.
A tragedy which was once seen by many as a divide between the community and police, is now sparking unity.
"We're here to help, not to harm, and as long as we can keep that dialogue going, and you tell us exactly what you need from us, then we can go from there," Dallas PD Senior Cpl. Dominique Erwin said.
"We trust them and we support them, so we're here for them," said Carlos Del Pino, who ran in the event.
It's that support that gives strength to the parents of fallen DART Officer Brent Thompson, and knowing their son died saving many lives.
"When he heard the commotion, he charged the shooter and he foiled the shooters' intentions of what he wanted to do," Paulette and Sam Thompson said.
For his heroic actions, this past May, Thompson was awarded with the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor.
His family went to Washington D.C., where they accepted the award from President Donald Trump in his honor.
A moment they will never forget, among many others.
"The last three words that Brent said to me was, ‘Love you dad,’ That is special, priceless, and so forth. There needs to be more love. You need to sit down at a table, get the differences out and share the love that's in this country that we have received through our loss," Sam Thompson said.