LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In early September, the Lotus Lane apartment complex witnessed a murder where the victim identified as Biller Carter was allegedly shot and killed in front of his two daughters. Residents are now trying to move forward despite the tragic events, and one Lufkin Police officer went beyond the call of duty to try and put a smile on the faces of those living in the apartment complex.
"We have never had a police officer play football with us," said Jeremy Langston as he remembered the night Officer Torry Trotty stopped by. "When he got done talking he asked us to throw the ball to him then we started playing."
Officer Trotty can be seen in a video posted to Lufkin Police Associations' facebook page throwing the ball around with kids in the complex. The video has drawn attention from not only residents, but the entire Lufkin community and has been viewed over 9,000 times.
I think it's important because lately kids are seeing a lot of negative things about police officers and to see one interacting and having a good time it felt awesome," said Zara Limbrick who's nephew can be seen playing with the officer. "I think it is important for kids to know that police officers are not bad people, they are doing their jobs, and every now and again just tell them thank you."
It's a message many around the world have been repeating in light of officer related deaths on the job, but it was also an effort for one officer to connect with children beyond the badge.
"What I felt when I watched that video is hard to put into words, especially to know this is going on out here in light of recent events that happened at our apartment complex." Limbrick said. "Really, words cannot describe how myself, and thousands others in the community felt watching it."
Those that witnessed the shooting said it was night they will never forget, but the effort of a police officer to take the time to stop and lift their spirits is unforgettable as well.
"Man, I should have been there, should have stayed until the end of the game," said Z'Kedric Jenkins who went home before Officer Trotty arrived, but heard about it from friends. "It made me realize that they are people, and they want to have fun with you too!"
Many of the kids that got to play with the officer and even more that did not, extended an open invitation for officer Trotty and his friends to come and throw the ball around again sometime soon.
"If I could tell him one thing I would say, thank you for playing with us and we want you to come out and play with us more," Langston said.
It is a reminder that sometimes even the smallest act of kindness can bring joy to places that have experienced immense tragedy.
We reached out to Officer Trotty for an interview, but he said that he did not know the camera was rolling and would like to keep the spotlight on those he wanted to uplift the night he played ball.
If you want to see the original video posted by the Lufkin Police Academy you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/lufkinpolice/videos/642045142623342/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE