BONNEY LAKE, Wash. -- One person who understands what the officers' families in Texas are dealing with today lives in Western Washington.
Kirsten Amos lost her dad, Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Kent Mundell, in 2009.
Mundell was shot while responding to a domestic violence call in Eatonville.
Amos said even after the violence of the last week, she’s determined more than ever to become a police officer because she wants to make her dad proud.
“It’s heartbreaking, I really feel for those families,” said Amos.
It’s a reality Amos knows too well.
Watching news of the Dallas officers killed brought back horrible memories.
“I mean it’s a different situation for every family but I really hate knowing someone else is going through this,” said Amos. “It kind of takes me back to 2009 and I remember going through it and getting the call."
In December 2009, Mundell responded to a domestic violence call. An intoxicated man at the home pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Mundell returned fire, killing the gunman, but he was shot, too. After several days on life support, Mundell died.
“Some days are better than others, still hard every day, but I’ve been good,” added Amos, who was only a teenager when her dad was killed.
She grew up idolizing her dad and always wanted to follow in his footsteps.
“I’ve always thought about it and then after he passed away, it really kind of enforced it. It really was, I wanted to do what he did; he loved his job,” said Amos.
A job she knows can be dangerous and even after watching what happened in Dallas, Amos said she isn’t backing down on her dream.
“There’s always a risk that your life can be in danger but it’s not going to make me stop or back down ... I want to be able to help people just like all the officers already do,” said Amos. "Just seeing this and knowing that that’s my family, even though they’re in Texas, it’s all law enforcement, and I will always be part of that law enforcement family.”
Amos said the victims in Dallas have the support of the entire law enforcement family -- a support she’s experienced for years, including on her wedding day, when deputies danced with her in place of her dad.
It’s that support that has helped her become who she is today.
“I’m doing it for myself but my dad is part of my drive,” said Amos.
Amos has already passed some of the tests to become a deputy; she’s now waiting to hear back if she’ll be joining the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.