Weld County Deputy Samuel K. Brownlee, a law enforcement officer in Colorado, had his life cut short on duty by a carjacker on November 23rd of 2010. He was disarmed in a physical confrontation, shot three times and killed by the suspect. He left behind a wife and children. One son was named Tanner Brownlee, who was 15 when his father was slain.
His father’s actual patrol vehicle, the one he specifically drove, subsequently came up for auction in 2015.
The son wanted to purchase the car in order to keep the memory of his father alive as long as possible.
Then something brilliant occurred.
This is called humanity.
This is called the goodness of people.
What a stellar display. One man paid $60,000 for a car worth $12,500 with 147,000 miles on the odometer, and then turned the keys over to the son, Tanner Brownlee, of the fallen officer.
That man was Steve Wells, a rancher, who’d made money from oil drilling on his property yet knew hard times as he was adopted himself.
“It never crossed my mind not to,” Wells said. “I wanted to hand the keys to that young man.”
Wells is a man who embodies America. A man who instills hope. Because he himself had no real father but was not aborted.
When Wells learned of the special auction of the fallen deputy’s retired patrol car, he knew he found a perfect opportunity to give back in a big way.
“Here was a man who lost his life as a deputy sheriff for the people of Weld County,” Wells said. “His son wanted something to remember his dad by and the fact that that young man could sit behind the wheel of that car and look through the windshield that his dad did was extremely important to me. It was just something I felt I had to do.”
It was time, he thought, to pay it forward.
“When the auction was over and I walked up and I handed him those keys. That is a lifetime moment. It was for him and it was for me,” Wells said. “That was a moment that, for me, meant everything.”
People insist we’re not an exceptional nation.