Real Life

Police officer’s heart-warming act of support after teen is orphaned a week before graduating

Just days after informing 18-year-old Kazzie Portie that both his parents died, police officer Eric Ellison attended the young man’s graduation in a beautiful act of kindness.

By Chloe Lal
Kazzie was on the cusp of adulthood when his world changed forever after his parents Riley and Emily Portie. The couple passed away just last week when a drunk driver struck their motorcycle in Orange, Texas, leaving him and his four siblings orphaned.
Police officer Eric Ellison was one of the first responders at the scene, where he was tasked with the gut-wrenching job to inform the family of the tragic accident.
Riley and Emily’s 18-year-old son, Kazzie was home alone when Eric arrived at the house. Amidst the sadness, he confided to the police officer that he was just days away from graduating and he didn’t know what to do.
Without missing a beat, Eric advised the teen: “You are going to walk!”
"Your mum and dad will have front-row seats looking down from heaven, and I'll stand in their place. I've got your back," the kind man added.
Kazzie was overwhelmed with Eric's support.
The accident struck a chord for the father and veteran officer, who recently watched his own daughter graduate.
Eric knew he was going to be there for Kazzie on his big day without giving it a second thought.
"I had to be the bearer of bad news for him, and I felt that was just the right thing to do," he explained.
Just he promised, Eric donned his police uniform and was on stage to congratulate Kazzie on his huge milestone.
As he received his diploma, the police officer embraced the teen and the entire stadium at the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School erupted into a standing ovation.
Kazzie was orphaned along with his 4 siblings after the tragic accident.
Kazzie’s elder brother, Blake shared the tender moment through a Facebook video, congratulating his brother’s achievement and letting him know that his parents would be so proud.
"This was such a special moment. Thank you class of 2015 for making this such a memorable occasion for our family,” he captioned the video.
"So proud of you @kazz418 I love you so much. Throughout all of this you have been so strong and we are so proud of you.
"Thank you for being such a great brother. I am so excited to see what the future holds for you. I know mom and bubba are so proud of you."
Kazzie told BuzzFeed how touched he was by Eric’s attendance.
"Seeing Officer Ellison there to congratulate me meant the world to me.
"It was so nice to see that he actually showed a genuine care for me and my family's situation instead of us just being another 'case'."
The resilient teen also thanked the community for banding together in support.
"I'll never be able to thank enough some very few people that stayed with me through the days and as well as everyone that helped me in any way at all and all the people praying for me and my family."
Watch the emotional video of Kazzie’s graduation in the video player above

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