Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department Officer Brent Thompson lost his life trying to save the lives of others. For his sacrifice, he was honored with the Medal of Honor.
In 2016, Officer Thompson and other DART officers worked traffic and pedestrian control at a protest march. The march was heading through a very busy intersection.
The protestors were marching through when a man began firing from a half-block away from his car. He hit three officers and killed them in the initial round, and injured three others.
The shooter continued to fire from behind a concrete pillar at the other officers. All of the officers took cover behind vehicles, but they could not see the shooter or fire back.
Facing The Shooter
Officer Thompson took it upon himself to walk across the three-lane road toward the shooter. He approached the man, who was firing an assault rifle and wearing body armor, and fired at him with his handgun.
Thompson was killed in the exchange, but his bravery in the face of certain danger allowed the other officers to locate the shooter and get him outside the building.
However, if Thompson had not drawn the shooter's attention by exchanging gunfire with him, many more officers could have been killed, and countless civilians would have been in danger.
His selfless actions also bought other law enforcement agencies time to the scene and find the shooter, eventually fatally wounding him.
Fallen Officer Honored
Thousands turned out to pay their respects to Officer Thompson. He was a Marine, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He joined the department in 2009.
Thompson, 43, was the first officer from the department to die in the line of duty. His wife, Emily Thompson, is also a DART officer. The pair had only been married for two weeks before the gunman attacked at the protest.
"I married the most amazing, caring, loving, selfless man I've ever known. Brent was a fighter, a warrior, a hero, and a scrapper. The kind of guy you'd want fighting with you. But Brent was also an amazing husband, father of six beautiful children that he talked about all the time. Brent was a son, a brother, an uncle and all-around phenomenal guy."Emily Thompson