Tanner Brownlee lost his dad Sam five years ago when he was killed in the line of duty. The well-known Deputy worked in the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and died during a police chase in 2010. Now, all that Tanner and his brother Chase have to remember their dad by are photos and his old motorcycle jacket.
In May 2015, Sam Brownlee’s old squad car was retired after 147,000 miles. The Dodge Charger SXT was valued at $12,500 and was being auctioned off by the department in order to raise money for COPS – Concerns of Police Survivors; an organization that provides services for survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Tanner went to the auction in hopes of buying his dad’s old car. He didn’t say how much he had to bid with, but when the bidding value passed $50,000 it was clear that his limit had passed. The car sold for a final price of $60,000 to Mr. Steve Wells.
Tanner thought that he had lost the car, but when the bidding was over Mr. Wells promptly picked up the keys and handed them directly to Tanner. The two had never met before, but he had heard about how much Tanner wanted his dad’s old car and bought it for him.
Mr. Wells didn’t want to be interviewed – he didn’t want to take away from the moment when Tanner got into his dad’s car and drive it home where it belongs.