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PHOTOS: Officer Brent Thompson, Slain in Dallas

Brent Thompson, 43, was the first Dallas police officer in the mass shooting on July 7 to be identified. No details of exactly how he died have been released yet; however details about his life are trickling out. Thompson was a father and a grandfather; his loved ones posted tributes on social media describing their sorrow and what he meant to them. “Thank you for serving our country,” wrote one family member on Facebook. “Thank you for protecting us while we sleep. Most of all, thank you for loving our grand baby the way you did. Watch over us. Rest easy Brent Thompson. Dark days, my friends. #‎prayfordallas.‬” Professionally, Thompson worked as a police officer for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system, which he had done since 2009. Before that, he served as a police officer and then left the profession to work for a private military contractor, through which he trained and mentored police officers in Iraq and Afghanistan. On his LinkedIn page, he said that he trained them in “Democratic policing.” Thompson was quoted in a 2006 article on the efforts in Afghanistan that ran in The New York Times. The article says that Thompson was assigned, in part, to train Afghan police officers in how to protect themselves from ambush. That – ambush – is exactly the word that Dallas’ police chief used to describe what happened to Thompson and 10 other Dallas police officers on July 7. The police chief said that at least four suspects had planned a coordinated sniper attack that involved shooting at officers from elevated positions in an attempt to triangulate them. Three of the suspects are in custody and one is dead. Thompson also was involved in training police officers to avoid active shooters. He was the first DART officer killed in the line of duty since that department was formed in 1989. The protest where the shootings occurred was designed to criticize police shootings of two African-American men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Falcon Heights, Minnesota. By the end of the night, 11 officers were wounded, and five, including Thompson, had lost their lives. This is a picture of Thompson with his grandson. (Facebook)

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