Hollywood actor Cuba Gooding Jr has spoken out in the wake of the death of Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa, with whom he previously posed for a photograph.
Zamarripa, 32, was among five officers shot dead by Micah Xavier Johnson in Dallas on Thursday as he sniped off police from high vantage points before holing up inside a garage.
The shooting took place at a protest about police shootings of black suspects. On February 25, Zamarripa tweeted a photo showing him and his partner, both in uniform, with the Hollywood star.
He wrote: ‘The great @cubagoodingjr. Thanx for taking the pic with my partner and I. Hope your stay in #Dallas was great sir!’
Gooding was asked by a TMZ photographer in Studio City, California, if he had a message for Zamarripa’s family. ‘The picture came out today,’ the photographer said.
Gooding responded: ‘I cried today when I heard that. I cried. That’s all I’ll say.’
Dallas police officers Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael J. Smith, and DART officer Brent Thompson were also killed. Two civilians and another seven officers were hurt. Johnson was eventually killed using a bomb strapped to a robot, but not before telling negotiators that he had targeted white police in revenge for the killings of African-Americans.
Zamarripa’s heartbroken wife recently posted a moving tribute to the cop and Navy veteran online. Kristy Villasenor, 33, a mother-of two who had two-year-old daughter Lyncoln with Zamarripa, honored the man she nicknamed ‘my lobster’.
She wrote: ‘This is something I never thought could ever happen to us. We were not done spending our lives together. ‘Because of this disgusting display of hate, my daughter will not have her daddy to walk her down the aisle and my son will not have his “best buddy” to play football and baseball with. ‘I finally found the love of my life and now have to endure a lifetime without my lobster.’
Zamarripa was a Navy veteran who joined the military shortly after leaving high school and had served three tours of Iraq before leaving five years ago to join the police, the Washington Post reported.