7-year-old boy pays his respects to fallen officer, attends funeral
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With his mom at his side, Samuel Sanchez, 7, walked into Healing Place Church to attend his first ever funeral for a fallen police officer.
"Because I want to honor him," said Sanchez.
Dressed in his own uniform, the young boy sat next to a BRPD officer, someone Sanchez calls a brother. His love for law enforcement began at a very young age and in 2017, he stood along the procession for fallen officer, Lt. Shawn Anderson, saluting with a flag in one hand as Anderson’s hearse went by. That image made national headlines and Samuel’s passion for policing only grew as his parents taught him the true dangers officers face.
"Because police officers keep people safe and I want to do that too," said Sanchez.
In 2017, he even went to Washington, D.C. for the National Fallen Officers Memorial, lighting candles in honor of the men who died and etching their names onto a piece of paper from the memorial wall. On Thursday, Feb. 7, he wore the black ribbon across his badge in honor of Cpl. Shane Totty.
"I've been honoring a cop that died on a funeral," said Sanchez.
He sat quietly through the entire service, saying he was thankful he could show his respects and wished he could have met him. We asked him if he had anything to say to Cpl. Totty. “I’m sorry that you died and I love you," he said.
It’s why he stood to salute Cpl. Totty as he was escorted to his final resting place.
Another young boy Cpl. Totty made an impact on is 5-year-old, Levi Russell. In 2018, when Cpl. Totty was recovering after being shot, Russell emptied out his piggy bank for an officer he did not even know. He bought him a smoothie gift card and made him a get well soon card. That was the start of their friendship. Now, both young boys are mourning someone they looked up to and respected and both have one message to any first responder.
“I love them and I want to support them,” said Sanchez.
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