It was a very early — and very rainy — Thursday morning when Tommi Jones Kelley pulled into a Texas gas station to fill her tank.
A Harris County deputy constable, Kelley was in uniform — and the vehicle she was operating was her patrol car.
Exactly the scenario her fellow officer Darren Goforth was in when he was shot to death late last month.
Soon enough Kelley couldn’t help noticing that a teenager she didn’t know was standing right behind her. Then he asked a question.
“Ma’am, do you mind if I stand here behind you while you get your gas?” Kelly recalled on her Facebook page.
She wasn’t exactly sure why the young man wanted to do that, so she inquired further: “And why?”
“To make sure you stay safe,” he replied.
After Kelley finished pumping gas, she said the kid was “still standing there, in the rain.”
Then he walked away and began to enter the passenger side of a car, and Kelley had to know.
“I asked the driver if she was his mom, and indeed she was,” Kelley said. “I told her she has an amazing son, and she said he wanted to make sure no one hurt me.”
Here’s the now-viral photo of Kelly with her new friend, Mckinley Zoellner:
“Yes, I’m the one with the gun on my hip while he stood there empty handed,” Kelley wrote, “but he for sure had my ’6′ while my back was turned.”
The deputy ended her Facebook post with these words: “With all the terror going on nationwide, this reassured me there are still some pretty awesome individuals out there!”