Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. says he cried after learning that he once posed for a photo with one of the five officers killed in Dallas this week.
In a photo posted on Patrick Zamarripa’s Twitter page in February, the Hollywood actor can be seen mugging for the camera with two police officers.
One of them, seen beaming in the center, is the 32-year-old Iraq war veteran and father of a 2-year-old girl.
“The great @Cubagoodingjr,” the photo’s caption read. “Thanx for taking the pic with my partner and I. Hope your stay in #Dallas was great sir!”
When asked by TMZ if he had any words for Zamarripa’s family, Gooding turned to the camera and clasped his hands together as if in prayer.
“I cried today when I heard that. I cried. That’s all I’ll say,” he said in a video before ducking into his car.
Zamarripa, who had three tours in Iraq, was one of five officers who were shot and killed by a sniper during a Thursday night Black Lives Matter rally.
He frequently posted on Twitter, often about his love for his city, country and favorite sports teams.
Texas Rangers baseball player Joey Gallo says he and right fielder Nomar Mazara also posed for a photo with Zamarripa several months ago.
In an Instagram post Saturday, the Rangers third baseman recalled being stopped by the officer, who was excited to get a picture with them.
“‘I know who you guys are,’” Gallo recalled Zamarripa saying. “‘Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara, can I get a picture with you guys please?’ It was definitely a first for me and Nomar to have an officer, a true hero, want to meet us.”
Gallo asked that the public keep Zamarripa’s family, as well as all the other affected families and officers, in their prayers.
“I’ll never forget how kind and down to Earth he was,” he said of Zamarripa. “We ended up having a 15 minute conversation about sports with him. He was an avid Rangers fan. But more importantly a great person, and family man.”
Those wanting to help support the slain Dallas police officers and their families can learn more here.