Eric Ellison, a police officer of the Orange Police Department in Texas, showed his support for an 18-year-old who had just lost his parents by attending his high school graduation.
Just one week earlier, Ellison had to let Kazzie Portie know that his parents had been involved in a fatal car accident.
On May 24, Ellison received a call that a suspected drunk driver hit a couple riding a motorcycle, he told CNN, and arrived at the scene to find both trapped under the pickup truck. Ellison says he identified the victims through their driver's licenses as Riley and Emily Portie, Kazzie's parents.
"There was nothing we could do," Ellison said to CNN. "They were pronounced dead at the scene."
When Ellison went to their house to find the next of kin, he was greeted by the youngest of the Porties' five children, Kazzie, who was home alone. Ellison told KTLA it was the hardest thing heas ever done.
While sitting with Ellison, the 18-year-old told the police officer that he was supposed to graduate in a week and didn't know how he would walk without his parents there. He knew his parents were looking forward to watching him graduate.
"They always told me that, how proud they were of me about graduating," he told CNN. "Not just graduating, but for who I've become and they said it was definitely going to be one of their proudest moments to see me graduate that weekend."
Ellison wasn't going to let him pass up another opportunity to make his parents proud.
"I said, 'You are going to walk!'" Ellison told BuzzFeed News. "Your mom and dad will have front-row seats looking down from heaven, and I'll stand in their place. I've got your back."
With Ellison's support, Kazzie received his diploma on May 30. The police officer shared a photo of the two hugging with Kazzie's diploma in hand on Facebook.
"This picture sums up, why LIFE matters," Ellison wrote. Since then, his photo has received hundreds of likes, shares and comments.