When he was only 15 years old, Tanner Brownlee lost his dad, a Weld County, Colorado, Sheriff’s deputy.
Sam Brownlee was tragically killed during a shootout in 2010.
On Wednesday, roughly five years later, Brownlee’s service vehicle, a white 2010 Dodge Charger, was put up for auction.
Hoping to keep the car as a way for him and his younger brother to stay connected with their dad, Tanner went to the auction hoping for a miracle. He knew the odds were slim since he had little money to offer.
"Realizing how much this car meant to him, I understand it now, and I want to keep that and hold onto it," Tanner told KSDK-TV before the auction.
But he didn’t win.
The car instead went to Steve Wells, a wealthy Colorado rancher, who bid $60,000, well over the vehicle’s estimated value of $12,500.
After winning the auction, Wells got up out of his seat, took the keys to car and looked at Tanner.
"Tanner, here's your car,” he said, placing the keys in his hands.
The amazing gesture left Tanner, now a man, in tears as the room erupted in applause.
Even though Wells overpaid big-time for Brownlee’s former service vehicle, the proceeds will go to a great cause. All the money is set to benefit the Concerns of Police Survivors, or COPS, a group that provides support to the families of slain police officers.
Watch the touching moment below at around the 5:30 mark):