Dallas police ambush hits close for locals

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Kristy Villasenor was a Fresno State softball player and her longtime partner Patrick Zamarripa was one of the officers killed in the line of duty. (KFSN)

Several local residents and businesses with ties to Dallas are talking Friday about the tragedy in Texas.

Now that the officers names are being released, we are learning more about their Fresno ties.

Kristy Villasenor was a Fresno State softball player and her longtime partner Patrick Zamarripa was one of the officers killed in the line of duty.

She was at a Texas Rangers game when she was told to come to the hospital.

Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney stepped off a plane Friday morning, he's back in the valley after a conference in Colorado, but he had his friends in Dallas heavy on his mind.

That's where he began his law enforcement career.

"I went to the police academy with Chief Brown," Varney said. "And I think there were 38 others of us there so it has a special place in my heart. It was the first team, so to speak that I played for."

The tragedy also created a somber mood at Cargo Barn Incorporated in northwest Fresno. The Fresno-based transportation brokerage company has an office in Dallas, right in the heart of the attack.

Friday, concerned co-workers had one eye on the latest Dallas news while trying to also work.

"We're trying our best in Fresno and Visalia to help our Dallas team out as much as we can," Manager Sonia Heredia said. "We've been in contact with their customers and facilitating the shipments that they have left on their desks."

The Dallas sales manager just relocated from Fresno to downtown Dallas.
Jordan Fertig works in Fresno and heard about the attacks last night but didn't immediately realize just how close the companies Dallas offices are to the deadly crime scene.

"One of the shooters was at a junior college I believe," Fertig said. "Which is about a block down and a block over from where the office is."

For Varney, the ambush style attack was shocking. He knows from experience, there will be some dark days ahead for the whole Dallas Police Department.

"This will be a very long process for them to go through," he said. "We did have one month when I was there where we lost three officers in 1988 and it takes the wind out of you for a bit. In the meantime, the Dallas Police Department is a great department. People will show up for work every day ready to do the job."

Another Dallas police officer from Fresno, who joined the department in 2012 was working last night, his wife said he is fine and was policing the protest on a bike last night.

He was called back to work Friday morning for another long, sad day.
Related Topics:
newsdallas police shootingmadera countyfresno countyMaderaFresno
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