Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support NHPR's local journalism and you could win a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland OR London, England!

Mourners Gather At Funerals For 3 Slain Dallas Police Officers


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Wade Goodwyn is an NPR National Desk Correspondent covering Texas and the surrounding states.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.