A police escort may not have been on the school supply list, but Austin Tuozzolo had one in tow on his first day of school Tuesday.
The 5-year-old son of slain NYPD Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo was joined by 30 officers from his father’s Bronx precinct, as he and his mother walked from their Greenlawn home to the bus stop. Tuesday marked Austin’s first day in kindergarten, the NYPD said.
“This morning we continued our vow to #NeverForget Paul’s family,” the 43rd Precinct said in a tweet.
Photos and video show a smiling Austin and his mother, Lisa Tuozzolo, standing with the officers in front of their house and flanked by them at the bus stop.
In a video post by Patches4Paul, a Facebook page dedicated to Tuozzolo’s memory, the group of officers wave and shout goodbye as Austin, dressed in a red, white and blue polo shirt, climbs the bus steps.
“Since Sgt. Tuozzolo couldn’t be here to put his son on the bus for his first day of elementary school, his 43 family made sure little Austin was not alone on his first day getting on the bus!” the video was captioned.
The video received more than 1,000 shares from supporters on Facebook.
“Nothing like the family in blue. Hope he has a great 1st day!!” one commenter wrote.
Paul Tuozzolo, 41, a 19-year veteran of the NYPD from Greenlawn, died Nov. 4, 2016, after being shot by Manuel Rosales, 35, of Brentwood, while responding to a 911 call about a disturbance at the Bronx home of the gunman’s estranged wife. Rosales was shot and killed by police.
Lisa Tuozzolo and her two young sons — Austin and his brother, Joseph, now 4 — received an outpouring of support in the months following his death. Austin has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch at a Mets game and accepted the NYPD’s highest honor on behalf of his father.
An NYPD spokesman declined to comment further. The 43rd Precinct and the Tuozzolo family were not available for comment.