Just days before his high school graduation, one Texas teen’s parents were killed by a drunk driver.
But Kazzie Portie wasn’t alone when he walked on stage to receive his diploma. Police Officer Eric Ellison, who had to break the terrible news to him, was waiting to hug him.
Ellison had been one of the first responders at the scene when Riley and Emily Portie, who had five children, were struck and killed by a drunk driver in Orange, Texas on May 24.
Kazzie, the couple’s youngest son, was home alone when Ellison arrived to tell him the terrible news.
When the 18-year-old told Ellison his graduation was mere days away, the officer told Kazzie he couldn’t miss the momentous day.
‘I said, “You are going to walk!” Ellison told BuzzFeed News.
‘Your mom and dad will have front row seats looking down from heaven, and I’ll stand in their place. I’ve got your back.’
Ellison said he just felt that it was the ‘right thing to do’ after having to be the ‘bearer of bad news’.
The entire stadium at the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School gave Kazzie a 40-second standing ovation as the teen walked to receive his diploma on Saturday.
And Ellison had kept his word – dressed in his uniform as he waited for teen to reach the end of the stage before they shared an embrace.