Mourners Gather At Funerals For 3 Slain Dallas Police Officers Three Dallas officers killed when a gunman opened fire on a peaceful protest were buried Wednesday. Sgt. Michael Smith, Senior Cpl. Lorne B. Ahrens and Brent Thompson, an officer with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, are the first of five officers killed last Thursday to be buried.
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Mourners Gather At Funerals For 3 Slain Dallas Police Officers

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Mourners Gather At Funerals For 3 Slain Dallas Police Officers

Mourners Gather At Funerals For 3 Slain Dallas Police Officers

Mourners Gather At Funerals For 3 Slain Dallas Police Officers

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/485895814/485895815" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Three Dallas officers killed when a gunman opened fire on a peaceful protest were buried Wednesday. Sgt. Michael Smith, Senior Cpl. Lorne B. Ahrens and Brent Thompson, an officer with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, are the first of five officers killed last Thursday to be buried.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In Dallas, funerals for the fallen police officers began today, victims of the ambush in that city last Thursday evening. The first funeral was for Brent Thompson. He was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer. Law enforcement officers from around Texas and the country came to pay their respects. NPR's Wade Goodwyn has this report.

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WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: The Potter's House Church where services were held for 43-year-old Officer Brent Thompson holds more than 17,000 worshippers, and the sanctuary was filled with thousands of police officers in their dress blues.

Before becoming an officer, Thompson was a U.S. Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His pastor, Rick Lamb, described him as a man who instinctively liked and was liked by nearly all who met him.

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RICK LAMB: He really liked the average Iraqi people - not the ones that cause all the trouble, the insurgents, you understand, but the average people. He even likened them to Texans. As a matter of fact, Brent respected and loved all people regardless of what color they were, where they came from. He loved people.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Amazing grace...

GOODWYN: Two weeks before his death, Thompson married a fellow police officer. In a display of courage and composure, his bride, Emily, stepped to the lectern to mourn her fallen husband.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

EMILY THOMPSON: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 was one of the happiest days of my life. I married the most amazing, caring, loving, selfless man I've ever known. Brent showed me that even though I would doubt myself from time to time, I'm strong and can do anything. Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 8:58 p.m., that was all ripped from me in an act of senseless violence.

GOODWYN: Brent Thompson raised six children married to his first wife, Sondra, for 24 years. Here's his daughter Sandy.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SANDY THOMPSON: One thing I would always say to my dad when he walked out the door was, goodbye, Daddy; I love you; be safe. And tonight we say our final goodbye, Daddy. We love you. Be safe.

GOODWYN: Brent Thompson's partner on the force, Joe Kyser, agonizes that he was not with Thompson that night. It was special duty accompanying a protest march through downtown, and Kyser wasn't working it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE KYSER: I look forward to the day when I see Brent again. God will be in heaven giving out assignments. God will look right at me and Brent. He will smile because the team will be back once again. I will hear him say, Kyser, Thompson - two-man team. Keep the streets of Heaven safe.

GOODWYN: Brent Alan Thompson will be buried on his family's farm in East Texas. Wade Goodwyn, NPR News, Dallas.

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