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Fallen Officer’s Son Outbid During Auction For Father’s Squad Car But Gets An Amazing Surprise From A Stranger

January 05, 2017

Weld County Deputy Sam Brownlee was killed in a police chase in 2010, and his sons wanted something to remember their father by. In Greeley, Colorado, Tanner and Chase Brownlee entered the police auction with the hopes of buying their father’s Dodge Charger.

“It’d mean a lot to me and my brother.  We’ve been through a lot,” Tanner said.


The Weld County Sheriff’s Office put on the auction to donate the proceeds to the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), which is an organization committed to the care of the families of officers killed in the line of duty. The two young men entered their first bid at $2,500, but the bids quickly rose to the tens of thousands.

Tanner and Chase hopelessly watched the numbers rise as their hopes fell.

They had started a GoFundMe page to raise the bidding funds for the Charger, and had raised a substantial $3,000, but the donations just weren’t enough to win the bid.  The Charger sold for $60,000.

Mr. Steve Wells, a local rancher, was now the proud owner of Deputy Brownlee’s car, but to Tanner and Chase’s surprise, he handed the keys to Tanner.

“Tanner, here’s your car,” he said.


Mr. Wells declined to be interviewed by local reporters saying he didn’t want to take away from the two young men’s moment. Tanner pledged to donate the GoFundMe funds to COPS.