After seeing the news about two more police officers ambushed in New York, plus the officers in San Antonio, I did a mental list of my 2016.
In 2016 I covered four funerals for police officers and two shootings where the officers survived. Six events. Locally. Think about that for a second. Six.
Euless police officer David Hofer, shot and killed in a ambush while on duty.
Dallas Police Officers Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Patrick Zamarripa, all ambushed a year ago in downtown Dallas.
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Those who thankfully survived were Arlington police officer Eddie Johnston, shot on duty, and Matt Pearce, who survived being shot multiple times. Matt was saved by the remarkable response, both medically and tactically, from fellow officers at the scene.
From what I know, the shooter in the Pearce shooting was taken out at about 100 yards away by another officer.
Just off-hand, I count about 10 officers who I am friends with, about four who I am very close to. Three I consider family. My daughters baby-sat their children, a daughter dated one’s son.
This environment is nuts. If you are not in the media and have zero idea how we work, it goes like this. The events are structured by police public information officers who do a great job of balancing privacy of the families and the needs of the media. Not much is missed.
Here’s the kicker, the one thing that just took the legs out from under me.
When identifying officers before and after the funerals, many actually thanked me for covering the event. Not one, ever, showed me anything but kindness.
One of the worst days of their careers, and they do that.
Photographer Michael William Zukerman was there at one when this happened; I just lost it.
So since the anniversary of the Dallas tragedy is Friday, I wanted to post my personal editorial and photos to make sure no one forgets what these officers go through.
Paul Moseley is a senior photographer for the Star-Telegram.