Mother of fallen Dallas officer reflects on son's life
Posted July 9, 2016
Dallas — Valerie Zamarripa remembers the last time she talked to her son. It was a typical conversation a mother would have with their adult son.
Just hours later, she was following the news of a shooting in downtown Dallas with reports of multiple officers shot.
“We chitchatted and I told him that my license plate cover was broken. It says Navy mom on it,” Zamarripa said. “He said, ‘Well, I’ll go get you one when we go on base,’ and I said, ‘Okay, fine.’ I said, ‘You getting ready to go to work,’ and he said ‘Yeah.’
“He said, ‘I love you mom.’ I said, ‘I love you, too. Be careful, be safe.’”
Zamarripa can recall the moment she found out her son, Patrick Zamarripa, was among the five officers killed in a sniper-style ambush during a protest in downtown Dallas.
“They met us at the door and took up to a room and that’s when they told us he didn’t make it,” Zamarripa said. “I figured that he was just busy and couldn’t get to the phone, so we just said I’ll wait. And then my daughter called and said, ‘Mom, do you have your phone on you? Keep it handy because I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
Now, Zamarripa has a small shrine growing inside her house in memory of her son. The memories of the 32-year-old father of two, and Navy veteran, who dreamed of joining the police force.
“He died a senseless death first of all for no reason at all because all that other stuff had nothing to do with him,” Zamarripa said. “Patrick was a loving, caring, wonderful, humble person.
“He loved life, and he loved being a policeman.”