HOUSTON, TX (WAFB) - Wounded East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Deputy Nick Tullier is set to be released from a hospital soon. His parents were worried about where they would go next, since their home here flooded last fall. That is, until, some special angels appeared.
Feb. 28, 2017, the morning started with a phone call.
"Apparently, there's a burglary in progress going on down the street so be sure to lock the doors," that was the phone call Sheri Cortez took.
Minutes later, the scene was full of officers. There were two suspects jumping fences to get away and then one found hiding behind a bush.
Sheri Cortez's husband was one of the Houston Police officers on scene.
"When they got back there, the guy had said he was giving up and he had put his hands up and so my husband had actually gotten the handcuffs on one wrist and was pulling him out when the suspect started wrestling with him and yanking him in and screaming, 'I'm going to kill all you mf'ing cops now'," said Cortez.
Cortez remembers the day like it was yesterday.
"My husband said all he heard was a shot and it took him to his knees," said Cortez. "He said he kept feeling like he was being shot and he kept hearing the shots boom, boom, boom and he was... He was being shot."
Ronny Cortez, a 24-yr veteran of the Houston Police Dept., took five bullets. His wife, who happened to be in that area, watched it happen right in front of her.
"It's hard watching that knowing your husband is here to protect the community and he's here to protect mean and he took five bullets for that," said Cortez.
Cortez is now paralyzed from his chest down. He was moved to the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehab facility in Houston.
TIRR is where two paths crossed --- the Cortez family and the Tulliers.
East Baton Rouge Deputy Nick Tullier spent nearly a year at TIRR after he took three bullets in July 2016. In Oct., Nick was moved to another rehab facility in Galveston. But just a few weeks in, staff there said Nick had met his goal and it was time to leave.
"We were forced into a corner that. I mean we had no options at all," said James Tullier.
The Tulliers had to find a place to live. Their home of 34 years in Denham Springs flooded in the August flood. What was left of it was stolen. Nick's parents, James and Mary turned their motor home into their full-time home and nick's Fiance Danielle has been at his side in any hospital room since the shooting meaning they had no home to go to. That's when Sheri Cortez found out they needed help.
"Sadly we're in this group called the officer down club and it's not a place where you want to be but we've become tighter knit than in the traditional blue family," Cortez.
Cortez gave up their rental property. Mind you, with her husband injured and Cortez's full-time job now is to take care of her husband, their rental property would have been their only income and she said she even had some buyers interested.
"God aligned the stars for all of that not to happen so quickly so when Danielle and Nick were being released and basically had nowhere to live, I've been where they are," said Cortez.
Cortez is providing their rental property to the Tulliers at no cost at least for the next few months saying they may not be in their home state with their own family, but they are with their blue family.
"The blue line is incredibly thick and we will take care of one another, there is no question," said Cortez.
But the rental property needs some revamping to be accessible for Nick. A Baton Rouge contractor, Chris Courville stepped up.
"I saw your Facebook post and I said you know what, this is a calling that I'm this close to a local hero and he needs my help," said Courville.
Courville Construction is picking up the cost of material and labor and will turn this house into a home for Nick and his family not to mention his donations thanking the Cortez family.
"We didn't have to upgrade them to granite. We didn't have to paint the house. We didn't have to replace any of the doors, but that's to show our gratitude from the Baton Rouge community of what she's doing for our local hero," said Courville.
While we were in Houston, James and Mary Tullier stopped by, laying eyes on the home for the first time.
His parents got the tour of what all the renovations will include making things easier for Nick.
"We're going to take this wall all the way back to here and have a double door here," said Courville. "When Nick comes down the hall we don't want to make this tough."
Plus, a huge yard for not only the Tulliers, their son, and future daughter-in-law but also their three little daughters.
"We were backed into a corner and I told insurance and I told Sheriff Gautreaux what do y'all expect. We can't find a magic wand. Well, y'all are the magic wand," said James Tullier.
"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You just don't even know how much of a relief this is on us. We can never thank you or repay you enough for helping us with this," said Mary Tullier.
While the Tulliers met the Cortez's at TIRR, they had never met Courville until today.
"For him to come all the way here and do this, there's no words. All I can say is thank you. What can I say. It's awesome, apparently an awesome guy," said James Tullier.
An awesome guy and a blue blood that runs thick to provide a family a home just in time for the holidays.
"This is really going to be different to be here and to be able to live a normal life," said Mary Tullier.
The goal is to finish construction within in the next few weeks and have the Tullier family move in right after that. Last year they spent Christmas in a hospital. This will be their first normal Christmas since Nick's injuries.
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