The Mexican-American fallen Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa who survived three tours in Iraq with the Navy was one of the five officers killed in a sniper attack during a peaceful demonstration in Dallas, July 7.
Rick and his wife Maria, Patrick’s step-mother, texted Patrick when they saw the news at 10 p.m. but never got a response. Patrick had died at 9:17 p.m., they said.
“He comes to the United States to protect people here,” Zamarripa said. “And they take his life.”
Zamarripa liked being a police officer, and had a long history of serving the country, including eight years in active duty in the Navy.
“He had an urge to serve, first in the Navy, then back home in Texas as a Dallas police officer.
He went over Iraq) and didn’t get hurt at all, and he comes back to the states and gets killed,” his father Rick Zamarripa, told The Associated Press by phone Friday.
The elder Zamarripa described his son as hugely compassionate.
“Patrick would bend over backward to help anybody,” Rick Zamarripa said.
He joined the Navy soon after high school Fort Worth, his father said, and saw combat while working for the U.S. military police in Iraq. According to his record he served eight years on active duty and then in the reserves. His father said one of those tours was in Kuwait.
Officer Patrick Zamarripa was a recipient of multiple Navy awards and decorations, including the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Vice Admiral Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve, released a statement Friday in response to Zamarripa’s death. “The Navy family and, indeed, all of America grieve at the senseless loss of MA2 Zamarripa and his fellow police officers,” Braun said. “Together they faithfully and honorably served their Nation and community and through their devotion to duty will forever stand as a shining example and source of inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to have known them.”
He got out of the service about five years ago and joined the Dallas Police Department. Recently, he started working a bicycle patrol in downtown.
Zamarripa, who would have turned 33 next month, was married with a 2-year-old daughter and 10-year-old stepson.