He Was Outbid For His Late Father’s Cop Car, Then The Winner Turned Around and Surprised Him

Tanner Brownlee wanted something to remember his father by after his untimely death. One man made sure it happened.

Sadly, Tanner’s dad passed suddenly and unexpectedly. Sam Brownlee, a Weld County Sheriff’s Deputy, died in the line of duty during a police chase. Tanner was just 15 at the time.

As the son of a fallen officer, the young boy wanted something that represented his father and his career. The choice was obvious. The Colorado teen set his sights on his dad’s squad car.


The vehicle, a Dodge Charger, was scheduled to be sold at auction. Tanner had a limited amount of cash but was prepared to fight as hard as he could.

Tanner anxiously awaits the sale of his father's Dodge Charger

Tanner anxiously awaits the sale of his father’s Dodge Charger

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With his fingers crossed and his hopes high, Tanner attended the event with his brother and mother. Over and over his bid was outdone. Finally, he reached his limit and had no other choice but to throw in the towel. He would never have his father’s precious squad car.

“Oh well, we tried,” Tanner whispered to his mom. 

The man who had won the vehicle was a local rancher within the community, Steve Wells. The man made his way to the front and accepted the car keys.

Family friend, Steve Wells, had plans to purchase the vehicle all along

Family friend, Steve Wells, had plans to purchase the vehicle all along

He immediately handed them to Tanner saying, “Here’s your car.”

The entire room of tear eyed onlookers instantly erupted in applause.The good samaritan was a complete stranger to Tanner and his family. Even so, he planned from the beginning to urchase the car for the fallen officer’s sons. His bid of $60,000 was five times its value.


Tanner was in shock, saying he had no idea the family friend had planned to do such a thing.

“Nope. I shook his hand and I didn’t know,” Tanner says. “It means so much to me.”

Watch the video below to see Tanner’s heartfelt reaction.

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