A Texas teen is surprised by the police officer who just a week before had to give him tragic news. The photo has gone viral and is a perfect example of the extra things cops do every day that most people never see.
Lt. Eric Ellison was tasked with breaking tragic news to Kazzie Portie, 18, of Orange about his parent’s death less than a week before he walked across the stage.
Riley and Emily Portie, of Orange, died Sunday May 24 when a pickup truck smashed into their motorcycle on West Park Ave. The driver, Travis Collins, 29, also of Orange, is facing two charges of intoxication manslaughter.
Lt. Ellison said breaking the news to the Portie’s youngest child was one of the hardest things he’s faced in his 21 year career, but he made sure to be the first to congratulate Kazzie on stage at his graduation.
“I walked up on the stage he looked at me and I looked at him and we both cried and that’s OK,” Lt. Ellison said. “I told him ‘you’re going to walk and your folks are going to have a front row seat and I’m going to be there.'”
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The audience erupted in cheers.
“The life struggles you see out here, it was rough on the kid, on the family,” Lt. Ellison said. “Sometimes life is not fair but you have to go on and I think Kazz is going to do that.”
Lt. Ellison said he’s proud of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville community for helping create a moment he said sums up why life matters.
“If you didn’t have a wet eye you needed to check your pulse, The Montagne Center was the loudest I ever heard it,” he said. “The class of 2015, 245 seniors and their families, on their feet and everyone right behind him.”
According to Lt. Ellison, Kazzie is sticking with his plans to go to college.