Law enforcement holds memorial for fallen Dallas officers

Published: Jul. 11, 2016 at 3:44 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2016 at 10:05 PM CDT
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Source: KLTV
Source: KLTV

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Tyler police officers and Smith County law enforcement held a memorial Monday for officers slain during a shooting in Dallas.

At the vigil in Tyler, the leaders of the law enforcement agencies in Smith County each carried a white flower and placed it in front of the Smith County Peace Officer's memorial in honor of the fallen officers in Dallas.

"As we hug our loved ones at family gatherings, let us not forget there are five families in Dallas that won't do that again," Sheriff Larry Smith said.

"Had the wounded and fallen officers in Dallas not been there to defend the rights of those individuals to protest and had not run toward the gunfire, we wouldn't be gathered here this afternoon. That's what we as law enforcement officers do, day in and day out," he added.

Community members who attended the vigil came to show their support for East Texas law enforcement, many signing a poster brought to the square.

"As painful as it is right now with what's going on in the world, but [we want to] let them know that we love them. We're here to support them, and we want to stand by them," Dewanda Runnels said.

"We just wanted them to know that we do care, and we do support, and that if they needed anything all they have to do is pick up the phone and ask," Wendy Velin added.

Sheriff Smith said he has felt that support and cooperation from the community and hopes it can continue.

"We must continue to work together as a community, as one, to ensure this never happens in Tyler; Smith County, Texas," he said.

Many East Texas agencies held similar memorial services for the victims on Friday and Saturday.

A memorial is also planned at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Longview at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. The event is open to the public.

Five officers were killed and two civilians injured during the Thursday night shooting. The shooting started while a protest against recent officer-involved shootings was underway in downtown Dallas.

DPD identified Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, as a suspect in the attacks. Johnson died during a standoff with police.

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