A stranger came through for Tanner Brownlee when he least expected it.
Tanner Brownlee was 15 when his father, Sheriff's Deputy Sam Brownlee, was killed in a shootout. In the five years since then, he and his brother Chase have collected every memento they can to remember their father by. So when Deputy Brownlee's squad car went up for auction, Tanner felt compelled to bid on it.
The 2010 Dodge Charger with 147,000 miles was valued at $12,500, but Tanner was willing to pay more. After all, there's no Blue Book value on memories. Still, he wasn't prepared to pay the $60,000 the car fetched on the day of the auction. It was bought by a man Tanner had never met, local rancher Steve Wells.
For a moment, Tanner's hopes were dashed. A very brief moment. No sooner was Wells declared the winner than he handed the keys over to the young man, saying, "Tanner, here's your car."
Wells declined an interview after the auction, presumably riding off into the sunset on a white horse. Tanner also rode off in a white ride, but one with considerably more power. Let's hope he treats it well for years to come. That's what his dad would have wanted. And for him to obey all traffic laws.
All proceeds from the auction went to the Concern of Police Survivors (COPS), a national organization providing support services to the families of officers lost in the line of duty.