Weeks before his graduation, Kazzie Portie, an 18-year-old from Orange, Texas, was told by police Officer Eric Ellison that his parents had died in a car accident.
“Riley and Emily Portie, of Orange, died Sunday May 24 when a pickup truck smashed into their motorcycle on West Park Ave.,” reported 12 News. “The driver, Travis Collins, 29, also of Orange, is facing two charges of intoxication manslaughter.”
Kazzie, the couple's youngest son, was home alone when Ellison was tasked with breaking the news to the family.
When the teenager told him that his graduation was less than a week away, the cop promised Kazzie that he would be there when he would receive his diploma.
“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,’” Ellison told BuzzFeed News.
The heartwarming moment when the police officer embraced Kazzie was captured on camera. The video has since gone viral.
This was such a special moment. Thank you class of 2015 for making this such a memorable occasion for our family. So proud of you @kazz418 I love you so much. Throughout all of this you have been so strong and we are so proud of you. Thank you for being such a great brother. I am so excited to see what the future holds for you. I know mom and bubba are so proud of you. Again, love you brother and thank you for being who you are.Kazzie PortiePosted by Blake Henning on Saturday, May 30, 2015
Ellison called breaking the news to the teenager “one of the hardest things he's faced in his 21-year career,” but he knew attending the ceremony was the right thing to do, especially when his own 18-year-old daughter graduated on Friday.
“I walked up on the stage he looked at me and I looked at him and we both cried and that's OK,” Ellison said.
Kazzie, who felt overwhelmed by all the support, said the cop’s presence at the graduation ceremony meant the world to him.
“It was so nice to see that he actually showed a genuine care for me and my family’s situation instead of us just being another ‘case,’” the teen said, adding, “I’ll never be able to thank enough some very few people that stayed with me through the days and as well as everyone that helped me in any way at all and all the people praying for me and my family.”
Ellison, according to 12 News, says “Kazzie is sticking with his plans to go to college.”