MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — After Brian Jackson was killed in the line of duty back in 2005, his parents stayed in touch with many of his coworkers at the Dallas Police Department.
“He was a good kid,” said Valerie Jackson of her son Brian. “A good kid – wore his heart on his sleeve.”
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Brian earned his dream of becoming a police officer in the city of Dallas. Nearly 11 years ago, he responded to a domestic violence call and was shot dead.
His father, John, said he was so proud of his son.
“Brian was doing a job that he loved, that he wanted to do, and fell in the line of duty,” he said.
Jackson’s parents, who currently reside in Middletown, told Eyewitness News on Friday that they know one of the offers killed in Thursday’s deadly ambush in downtown Dallas.
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Valerie and John said the Dallas Police Department showered their family with support during their time of tragic loss.
“Those officers are a part of our family,” Valerie said. “They always will be. That’s because Dallas became so much a part of our family. They took care of us.”
Valerie said she still wears the Dallas police necklace that Brian gave her.
When the couple heard about the horrific ambush in the city Thursday night, they said they were devastated.
“Behind every one of those numbers is a heartbreaking story,” said John. “These officers are trying to do a good job.”
According to Valerie and John, they found out Friday that one of the officers who comforted them when their son died was one of those killed by 25-year-old Micah Johnson.
“Every time I would fly back to Dallas – which I did quite a bit – we saw him when I came back,” Valerie explained. “He always made a point of seeing us.”
Now, Valerie and John say they know exactly what the grieving families are going through.
John told Eyewitness News he hopes this act of violence continues a conversation about gun laws across the country – especially with a focus on semi-automatic rifles.
Valerie said she is confident her son is now guiding his comrades that lost their lives.
“The angels came to Brian last night and said ‘some of your friends are coming and you need to help them settle in,’ and I’m sure he’s doing that today.”