BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - At only five-years-old, Samuel Sanchez has already stolen many hearts by holding a flag while wearing his police uniform and standing at attention for Lt. Shawn Anderson's funeral procession.
After WAFB's report on Monday, March 27, law enforcement from all over the Baton Rouge area and some of the wives and family members of the fallen officers and deputies came together Wednesday to honor the little boy.
The morning started with a surprise knock at the door at Samuel's home. "Hey buddy," said Livingston Parish Sheriff's detective, Shana Thomasson. "We're here to take you on a trip."
Det. Thomasson and Lt. Charles Roberts picked Samuel up from his home and before the ride, gave him a packet of goodies. "The Sheriff gave you this. It's an official patch, a shoulder patch," said Lt. Roberts.
They rode to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office headquarters, where law enforcement from several different agencies came together for one little boy. He was welcomed by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff.
"Hey buddy, how are you," asked Sheriff Gautreaux. "My name's Sid. I'm the sheriff over here. Well, you make us all proud brother. You stand on the side of the road with that flag, that's why we do what we do, because of people like you."
He was also welcomed by the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes. "I got you a hat. I got you a patch. I got you a badge, a real badge," said Cazes.
From shaking hands with Baton Rouge Police officers to getting badges, patches, and goodies from Louisiana State Police, Ascension, Pointe Coupee, and Iberville Parish Sheriff's Offices, as well as Plaquemine Police, Samuel was simple overwhelmed.
"Thank you very much for what you did for us," said Chief Payne.
He was even honored as an official EBRSO motorman. "The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, Traffic Division, Samuel Sanchez shall be appointed and entitled honorary motorman for showing strength, character, honor, and dedication," said EBRSO's Capt. Robert Stone.
They were all followed by some very special women. "My friend Nick was hurt this summer. This is a Pray for Nick bracelet. Can I give it to you so you can help me pray for him? Can I put it on your wrist? I brought you a shirt that looks just like mine," said Tullier's family friend, Sheri Kirley.
"I am Corporal Montrell Jackson's wife," said Trenisha Jackson.
"I'm Deputy Brad Garafola's wife. Can I give you a hug," asked Tonja Garafola.
"Samuel, I'm Lt. Anderson's wife and I just want to thank you so much for being so brave and for being out there to support him Thursday. You were very brave. You were very respectful and my children and I thank you so very much," said Becky Anderson.
With that, Samuel was off first to the K-9 and then a motorcycle ride. He got to see the SWAT vehicle followed by the EBRSO helicopter and State Police chopper. "I knew something was going on [when they knocked on the door]," said Samuel. "I know they were going to take me somewhere."
"It means everything. That's all I can say. It touched me," said Sheriff Gautreaux.