Iraq vet, father, Dallas police offer
President Obama's comments about Patrick and the other officers
His uncle, Fernando Zamarripa, was a vetern of Operation Desert Storm. “I was his hero and then he went into the military … he was my hero,” he told The Fort Worth Telegram. “We were always calling each other heroes.”
Fernando said his nephew had three tours of duty in the Navy, starting in 2003 -- but did not talk much about his experience there.
Greg Wise, who worked with Zamarripa at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida recalled hearing him explain why he wanted to get back to Texas. "For him, he was just tired of being away from the people he loved. He wanted to go back and serve his community." (Washington Post)
A PROUD MEXICAN-AMERICAN
"He was so proud and loved being a father" to his 2-year-old daughter, Lyncoln Rae, said his mother, Valerie Zaamarripa. (ABC News)
His father, Rick, recalled a fishing trip when Patrick caught his first catfish. "He always wanted to impress his dad. I said 'You don't have to impress me. I love you. I'm your dad.'" (NY Daily News):
GRADUATE OF PASCHAL AND TIMBLE TECH HIGH
History teacher Patti Sikes said in a statement that Zamarripa had a “winsome smile” and an outgoing personality.
“He came from a wonderful family who bled purple,” Sikes said. “His mother was a security monitor, his sister was a mascot and he was a baseball player.”
Zamarripa, a huge Texas Rangers fan, played third and second base for the Panthers.
Stephen Smith, former Paschal Panthers baseball coach, remembered the fallen officer as a “supporter of all things Paschal.” As an adult, Zamarripa played at Paschal’s alumni game several times, Smith said.
“He was a great kid, but a better adult,” Smith said. “When I saw him a few years ago, he was working as a police officer and was being a great dad and husband. I have great memories of him, but I am proud of the citizen and father he became.”
A TEXAS RANGER FAN
A Patrick Zamarripa retweet:
....THE DALLAS COWBOYS
....AND THE DALLAS MAVERICKS
....THE TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY FROGS
....THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LONGHORNS
HE LOVED HIS FRIENDS
His father, Rick: “Patrick’s the kind of guy that would bend over backward to help. If he has $1 and you needed it, he’d give it to you. He’s the type of person that would do without so you can have.” (Daily News)
HE LOVED BEING A POLICE OFFICER
"He just loved his job," his sister said. "Every day he loved doing it... it gave him a great love for his country, his city and everybody around him."
His mother said he had talked about becoming a police officer ever since he was little.
"That was his dream and he fulfilled his dream by going into the Navy and then becoming Dallas PD," she said. "He never talked about his job to us, he always kept that to himself because he didn’t want us worrying about what he was going through ... but as a mother, I worried."