Dallas Shootings took heavy toll on officers of the Southwest Division

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The Heavy Toll for Southwest Division of Dallas Police Department

Inside the inconsolable Dallas Police Department, one squad was particularly shattered by last week's sniper shootings: the Southwest Division family, where half of the 12 officers served.

Three of the five officers who were killed called the Southwest home: Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol and Patrick Zammarripa. So do three of the seven who were wounded: Gretchen Rocha, Ivan Saldana and Jorge Barrintos.

More from NBC News: Dallas Police Ambush: These Are the Slain Officers

"There are no words" to capture the special bond and the grief among the officers, who formed a team, Maj. Thomas Castro, second in command of the division, said Sunday.

"It's just too much," Castro said, adding: "I personally knew each one of them. They were my go-getters, for a lack of better words."

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Dallas shooting victims, memorials and aftermath
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Dallas shooting victims, memorials and aftermath
Brent Thompson, of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, one of five officers killed in a shooting incident in Dallas, Texas, U.S., is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters July 8, 2016. Brent Thompson via LinkedIn/Handout via Reuters
This is Brent Thompson with his grandson. He's the first DART officer killed in the line of duty. https://t.co/XQuoF8xnCZ
Love you brother. Couldn't be prouder. We'll see you again. #PrayForDallas https://t.co/1oqeBxai7x
AP identifies Officer Patrick Zamarripa was one of the slain Dallas police officers... https://t.co/QxX4gHxfHu https://t.co/eZFlsm6KXX
Chicago Police Sgt. Charmane Kielbasa places a note of support on the bronze medallion at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Emergency responder vehicles sit outside of the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Investigators leave the home of Micah Xavier Johnson in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Texas, Friday, July 8, 2016. A Texas law enforcement official identified Johnson, 25, as the sniper who opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Noelle Hendrix places flowers near the scene of a shooting in downtown Dallas, Friday, July 8, 2016. Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Five red roses, a bouquet of flowers and a note of support for the Dallas Police Department lies on the bronze medallion at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)
Five red roses are seen on the bronze medallion at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
FBI investigators look over the crime scene in Dallas, Texas, U.S. July 8, 2016 following a Thursday night shooting incident that killed five police officers. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
WASHINGTON, USA - JULY 8: The American Flags surrounding the base of the Washington Monument, with the US Capitol in the distance, are flying at half staff after President Obama ordered them to be lowered in honor of the five Police Officers killed by a gunman in Dallas the night before in Washington, USA on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil at the Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe for the victims of Dallas shooting in Dallas, United States on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil at the Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe for the victims of Dallas shooting in Dallas, United States on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Ever since the horrific attack Thursday night, the Southwest has seen a steady stream of visitors from the community it serves. Sunday, they included José and Priscilla De La Garza and their son, Evan.

It was important that "we come shake the hands of the police officers that protect us," said José De La Garza.

"A lot of times, they don't get the respect that they deserve," he said. "One of the biggest things, I think, that stands out to me is that when the bullets were flying, they're running towards the bullets — not away from them."

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Priscilla De La Garza grew up locally, and while she didn't know the officers personally, "I feel I'm connected to them in some way," she said.

"We just said a little prayer for them, and we asked God to be with the families, and, you know, just look over their loved ones," she said. "They're going to be truly missed."

For the officers of the Southwest, "this is like losing a family member," said Don Gieseke, a volunteer chaplain with the nonprofit Crisis Response Ministries.

And as their grief envelops them, many have let the cracks in their hard professional facades show, he said.

RELATED: Images from Dallas

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Officers killed at Dallas protest after police killings of two black men
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Officers killed at Dallas protest after police killings of two black men
Emergency responders administer CPR to an unknown patient on a stretcher as law enforcement officials stand nearby at the emergency receiving area of Baylor University Medical Center, early Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
A Dallas police officer, who did not want to be identified, takes a moment as she guards an intersection in the early morning after a shooting in downtown Dallas, Friday, July 8, 2016. At least two snipers opened fire on police officers during protests in Dallas on Thursday night; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A man raises his hands as he walks near a law enforcement officer, following the shootings Thursday of several police officers in downtown Dallas, early Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Police check a car early Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas, Snipers opened fire on police officers in Dallas on Thursday night; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas police check a car after detaining a driver in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Several police officers were shot by snipers, police said; some of the officers were killed. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas police stand near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Dallas police officers stand in a line near the site of shootings in downtown Dallas, early Friday, July 8, 2016. Snipers opened fire on police officers, police said; some of the officers were killed. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas police move to detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. At least two snipers opened fire on police officers during protests in Dallas on Thursday night; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas police stand watch near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Dallas police gather as a crowd forms in downtown Dallas, early Friday, July 8, 2016. Snipers opened fire on police officers in Dallas; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas residents sit near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
An unidentified woman and a law enforcement officer hold hands as they walk out of the Baylor University Medical Center emergency reception area, early Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas police and residents stand near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Dallas police order people away from the area after several police were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
The El Centro College parking garage stands in downtown Dallas early Friday, July 8, 2016. Snipers opened fire on police officers in Dallas, killing several during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men, police said. Police said three suspects were in custory and a fourth suspect was exchanging gunfire with authorities, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said early Friday morning. The suspect is not cooperating and has told negotiators he intends to hurt more law enforcement officials, the chief said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 7: Dallas residents stand near the scene where four Dallas police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Dallas police detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Snipers apparently shot police officers during protests and some of the officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas police stop a driver in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016, following shootings of police officers. Snipers apparently shot police officers during protests and some of the officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas police move to detains a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Snipers apparently shot police officers during protests and some of the officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Law enforcement officers stand outside the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, early Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. At least two snipers opened fire on police officers in Dallas on Thursday night. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Police officer stands guard at a baracade following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors yell after police officers arrest a bystander following the shooting at a protest in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Dallas policeman keeps watch on a street in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016, following reports that shots were fired during a protest over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Protestors yell after police officers arrest a bystander following the shooting at a protest in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors yell after police officers arrest a bystander following the shooting at a protest in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A police officer tries to calm protestors following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A police officer tries to calm protestors following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Police cars sit on Main Street in Dallas following the sniper shooting during a protest on July 7, 2016. A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Tonight it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally.... https://t.co/JzHhoMzF5k
With heavy hearts, we are devastated to report a fourth officer has been killed.
2 snipers kill 3 police officers, wound 7 others in Dallas during protest. https://t.co/mm44qKgE40 (Photo: AP) https://t.co/DyaCmJRd2n
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man holds a bat reading 'Black Power' during a protest in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man lays on the ground after yelling 'Don't shoot me' at police during a rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman takes pictures of the rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on July 7, 2016 to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black motorist Philando Castile, 32, a school cafeteria worker, was shot at close range by a Minnesota cop and seen bleeding to death in a graphic video shot by his girlfriend that went viral Thursday, the second fatal police shooting to rock America in as many days. / AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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It's hard to get "inside the shell" of a police office, Gieseke said. "They're a bit cynical sometimes, and they're a bit afraid to let their emotions out. But what I saw just blew me away — seasoned veterans hugging each other, openly crying."

Each has his or her own way to cope, "and we saw every one of them displayed on Friday morning," he said.

The shootings Thursday occurred as a protest march was drawing to a close in the aftermath of police killings of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn. — events that again laid bare deep suspicions among African-American communities and law enforcement across the country.

More from NBC News: Suspect 'Wanted to Kill White People, Especially White Officers'

But Sunday, Ministering Evangelist J.K. Hamilton and members of Church of Christ at Mountain View, a prominent African-American congregation in Dallas, made a point of showing their support for their local officers.

The congregation left memorials at division headquarters and convened a prayer service, where — black hand in white — they prayed for the victims.

"We have a partnership, and sometimes the troubles and woes that happen in society can put a rift in that," Hamilton said Sunday.

"I'm here to say — with the Mountain View family all here — that this does not put a rift in our relationship with the Southwestern Division," Hamilton said. "We're still praying with you and for you. We still intend on partnering with you on making this community, changing the dynamic of this community and making an impact on this community."

Hamilton lamented that "this thing has gotten to a place where nobody wins."

"But the Lord always wins," he declared. "And so we use the tool he's given us to cover you all, so that you'll be more covered than the bulletproof vests that you have to wear — you'll be covered by the grace of God."

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