1010 WINS — When Austin Touzzolo prepared for his first day of kindergarten, he certainly didn’t expect to receive a police escort.

On November 4, 2016, a domestic violence incident developed at a Bronx home. While officers were on the way, the suspect fled the scene. When Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, Austin’s father, eventually caught up with the suspect, Manuel Rosales, 35, of Brentwood, opened fire killing Tuozzolo and striking a second responding officer in the leg.

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Tuozzolo died at the scene, leaving behind a loving wife and two boys, Joseph now aged 4 and Austin now aged 5. In the following months, a support network of family, fellow officers, and members of the community surfaced online, called “Patches4Paul,” dedicated to remembering him.

Austin’s first day of elementary school, a milestone among many that Sgt. Tuozzolo wasn’t able to be there for, was full of support and love. Especially thanks to the help and planning of “Patches4Paul”.

Over thirty officers from the 34th precinct, as well as family members and neighborhood friends, gathered to walk Austin from his Greenlawn home to the school bus stop.

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“This morning we continued our vow to #NeverForget Paul’s family, as we send off Austin on his 1st day of school,” the precinct tweeted.

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–Joe Cingrana