Fallen Officer Brent Thompson (Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department, Texas) is being honored for giving his life while engaging a deadly mass shooter and saving the lives of countless civilians and fellow officers during a protest march.
On July 7, 2016, Officer Thompson, along with officers from his agency and the Dallas Police Department, were conducting traffic and pedestrian control duties during a protest march that was to pass through a busy intersection.
After the protestors passed, a man in a car parked about half a block away opened fire on the officers at the intersection. Three Dallas Police officers were mortally wounded in the first moments of the attack and three more were injured. The shooter, hiding behind a concrete pillar, continued to fire at the surviving officers who were pinned down behind their vehicles and were unable to see him or defend themselves.
Without regard for his own safety, Officer Thompson crossed a three-lane road and approached the shooter, who was wearing body armor and using an assault rifle, and began firing at him with his handgun. Officer Thompson was killed during the gun battle, but his actions gave cover to officers from both agencies so that they could find the attacker and force him inside a building, where he was eventually fatally wounded by the Dallas Police SWAT team.
The selfless and heroic actions of Officer Thompson saved the lives of multiple officers and individuals. By exchanging fire with the gunman, he created a distraction that enabled Dallas Police Department officers to rush to the aid of their fallen and wounded colleagues and allowed responding officers from both agencies the time and ability to find and fatally wound the shooter before he was able to shoot more officers as they arrived at the scene.