Less than a week before 18-year-old Texas teen Kazzie Portie was supposed to graduate from high school, his parents were killed in a car accident. So instead of them being there with him at his commencement ceremony, the officer who handled the case, Lt. Eric Ellison, was there to show his support.
Riley and Emily Portie were killed by a drunk driver on Sunday, May 24. Ellison told KBMT that breaking the news to Portie, the couple’s youngest child, was the hardest thing he’s had to do in his 21-year career. That’s why he promised to attend the teen’s ceremony at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, saying it was “just the right thing to do,” reports Buzzfeed.
Here is another Photo of Officer Ellison and Kazzie Portie at H.S. Graduation. Both Parents were killed on May 24th pic.twitter.com/fBA8kkM6dn— Blue Alert (@BlueAlertUs) June 1, 2015
“I walked up on the stage he looked at me and I looked at him and we both cried and that's OK,” Ellison told ABC. “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.’”
After Portie accepted his diploma, he hugged Ellison, who was waiting for him at the end of the stage. The touching moment was captured in photos and videos that have now gone viral.
Portie was also given a standing ovation. Ellison described the moment, saying: “If you didn't have a wet eye you needed to check your pulse. The Montagne Center was the loudest I ever heard it. The class of 2015, 245 seniors and their families, on their feet and everyone right behind him.”
Portie told Buzzfeed he was extremely grateful for Ellison’s support at his graduation. “Seeing Officer Ellison there to congratulate me meant the world to me,” he said. “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.’”
According to Ellison, Portie will stick to his plans to go to college.
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