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Stranger Wins Police Cruiser, Immediately Gives It to Late Officer’s Son

This son will have something special to help him remember his father.

Sam Brownlee was killed in the line of duty while working as a deputy in Colorado’s Weld County in 2010. His son, Tanner, was 15 at the time.

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office recently auctioned off Sam’s retired squad car with the proceeds going to Concerns of Police Survivors, a group that helps people whose relatives in law enforcement died on the job. Tanner and his brother raised funds to try and win the car, hoping they’d be able to keep the tangible reminder of their dad.

Bidding went beyond whatever money the brothers had and the car, a Dodge Charger with 147,000 miles on it, went to a rancher named Steve Wells, who, immediately after forking over $60,000 for it, handed the keys to Tanner and said, “Here’s your car.” The gesture left Tanner in tears.

Tanner did not know Wells before the auction began and the car’s value is believed to be $12,500.

Tanner plans to pay it forward — literally. He says he plans to donate the money he raised to C.O.P.S.

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