April 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM ET
When Kevin and McKenzie Wells posted the photo on Facebook, they simply meant to say thanks for a kind act.
But when they uploaded the picture, of a local police officer's thoughtful act in the midst of the manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it went viral.
Kevin Wells snapped and shared the shot, of Officer John Bradley of the Brookline, Mass. police department delivering two gallons of milk on Friday for the couple’s 17-month-old son.
Thanks to a tweet from the official account of the Boston Police Department, the photo had been shared more than 60,000 times on Facebook by Sunday.
The couple had run out of milk for their son, Holden, while their neighborhood was on lockdown during Friday’s manhunt. Shortly after noon, McKenzie Wells' mother, Trish Sommers, walked down the block to take a chance at asking an officer if he could help, and he more than obliged.
“It just meant the world that he literally went out and got two gallons of milk,’’ McKenzie Wells told TODAY.com. “We wanted to pay him but he wouldn’t take money from us. He was just so generous.’’
They initially pulled the picture off Facebook because they didn’t want Bradley to be upset.
“The fact that it went as viral as it did was kind of crazy,'' Wells said. "We kind of thought we were going to get in trouble at first, so we pulled it off. We just didn't want to upset the officer, but we didn't think it would be everywhere.”
Bradley declined comment through a department spokesperson.
“He was just happy to be able to help,’’ Brookline Police Department spokesperson Lt. Phil Harrington wrote in an email. “He does not want to take credit from the many officers who were there doing their job.”
The family’s home is situated between where the initial gun battle between police and Tsarnaev occurred and where he was later captured after another gun battle while hiding inside a boat.
“It was just nerve-wracking,’’ McKenzie said. “Being locked in your house is something you'll never think you'll experience.”
Sommers, who was visiting from her home in Colorado, walked to the end of the block to talk to police about getting milk because they didn’t know how long the neighborhood would be locked down. Tsarnaev was captured about four blocks from the Wells’ home, and were there to celebrate with other locals who cheered police when Tsarnaev was taken alive.
“It was just awesome to see everyone out with their kids and families,’’ Wells said. “It was a scary time, but everyone was united. The fact that we could shut down the city, and they could capture the guy and make everyone feel safe while helping those recovering was amazing to see.”