This Cop Just Made Life a Little Easier for a Grieving Widow

Officer Willie Arnold. Photo courtesy of WSB-TV/Facebook When Atlanta police officer Willie Arnold learned about the death of fellow officer Ryan Baird, he knew exactly what he had to do: buy Baird's widow the car Baird had planned to get her himself.  “He was a great guy,” Arnold tells Yahoo! Shine of his former colleague who was killed in a car accident earlier this month. “I know he would do the same for me.”

According to Arnold, Baird had recently told him that he was looking for a new car for his wife, Mandy. “We talked every day, and he always talked about his family. He loved his wife and kids,” says Arnold. “I wanted to make sure his family was OK,” he explains, so he bought a 1998 Chevy Lumina with his own money and presented it to Baird’s wife and her three children, Jaillal, 19; Ryana, 14; and Lundon, 2.

Ryan Baird pictured with his wife, Mandy, and kids, Jaillal and Ryana. Photo courtesy of Mandy Baird. Mandy Baird tells Yahoo Shine that three Atlanta Police Department officers rang her doorbell on Monday afternoon, including Arnold. After offering their condolences, they asked her to come outside. They then handed her a set of car keys and told her that the car was a gift — and paid in full. “Willie said, ‘I know things are going to be very hard on you, but we wanted to help out,’” Baird recounts to Yahoo Shine. “I broke down and cried.”

Arnold’s fellow officers honored his act of kindness with an award and the story has garnered nearly 11,000 likes on the Facebook page of local news station WSB-TV in Atlanta, which originally reported the news. The comments praise Arnold’s act, saying, “You are a true hero,” “This is what giving back looks like folks!,” and “There are some good people in the world.” Arnold says he's surprised by the reaction. “I had no idea it was going to be so big,” he says. 

The gift is a blessing, says Mandy Baird, as she had been worrying about how she was going to cut back on expenses going forward. “I’m just overwhelmed with the support from everyone, especially the Atlanta Police Department,” Baird says. “I thank each and everyone of them from the bottom of my heart because their support has brought [my family and me] some comfort.”