A group of New York City Police Department officers kept a solemn promise to support a 5-year-old boy going to his first day of kindergarten after his father was killed in the line of duty last year.
Austin Tuozzolo was surrounded by about 30 NYPD officers from the Bronx's 43rd Precinct in a heartwarming scene as he walked with his mom, Lisa, to the school bus on Tuesday for his first day of school in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Austin's father, Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, 41, was fatally shot in November 2016 while responding to a report of a home invasion in the Bronx.
Tuozzolo's friends and colleagues made sure Austin had plenty of support on his first day of school without his dad. He ran back to give his mom a final hug before getting on the bus.
Another officer who was with Tuozzolo on that day, Lt. Emmanuel Kwo, survived a gunshot wound and credits the 19-year NYPD veteran with saving his life along with several others.
Kwo started the Facebook page Patches4Paul, which sells patches with Tuozzolo's name and badge number underneath the words "Never Forget" to keep his memory alive and show support for his widow and two young sons.
"Since Sgt. Tuozzolo couldn't be here to put his son on the bus for his first day of kindergarten, his 43 family made sure little Austin was not alone on his first day getting on the bus!" Kwo wrote on Facebook. "We promise to never forget and to always be here for this family! Have a great day Austin!"
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