Winning bidder gives fallen deputy's son keys to car

GREELEY - A man who bought the former service car of a fallen Weld County Sheriff's deputy during an auction Wednesday gave the vehicle to the deputy's son, Tanner Brownlee.

Steve Wells bid $60,000 for the 2010 Dodge Charger valued at $12,500. The car was used by Sam Brownlee, who was killed in 2010 in the line of duty.

After placing the winning bid, Wells walked over to Brownlee's son and handed the keys to him, saying "Tanner, here's your car."

"Realizing how much this car meant to him, I understand it now, and I want to keep that and hold onto it," Tanner told 9NEWS before the auction.

Tanner was 15 when his father died, and says he and his younger brother don't have much to remember their father. He believes having his father's former service car will help strengthen their connection.

"He put time and work into it. He drove it every day, and so to have something like that will be bigger than a lot of things I could have gotten," Tanner said.

Wells, who declined an interview, is a rancher who owns thousands of acres of oil-rich land in Weld County.

The proceeds from the auction went to COPS, the Concerns of Police Survivors. It's a national organization that offers emotional support services to the families of fallen officers, including Deputy Brownlee's family.

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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