A Texas police officer came to the funeral of 5-year-old Joshua Garcia dressed as the boy’s favorite superhero, Spider-Man.
Joshua drowned April 2 in a pool at his family's home, and officer Damon Cole was first on the scene to try and help, according to media reports.
Joshua's mother called police to say her son was missing, telling Cole when he arrived that she had looked in the pool herself but couldn’t see him.
Cole immediately removed his body armor and entered the pool.
“Officer Cole put himself at great risk as there were sharp objects and multiple obstacles in the pool not to mention the murky stale un-kept pool water itself,” an email from Cole’s sergeant read, according to My San Antonio.
He was able to pull Joshua out, but it was too late to save him. Cole stayed by the boy’s side as he was rushed to Cooks Children’s Hospital.
“I can’t even get it in my head today that he’s gone,” Jeremy Gurment, Joshua’s older brother, told KXTV.
Joshua’s brothers asked to meet with Cole in the days after the death and asked him to attend the funeral dressed as Spider-Man.
“There’s not a minute that has gone by that I haven’t thought about Joshua and his family,” Cole said. “And anything to honor his memory, I’ll do it.”
Cole also brought a Spider-Man costume to the ceremony so that Joshua could be buried with it.
“It’s really hard to sit here and watch them bury their loved one, because I’m the one who found him,” Cole added.
The family organized a plaque to recognize Cole’s actions, writing on it that he was a “police hero.”
“I was so touched that the family did this for me,” Cole wrote online, according to My San Antonio. “I had the family sign the plaque for me and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”