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North Las Vegas police officer Nicholas Quintana made a life-changing decision by welcoming five new members into his household last month.
Quintana was having lunch on Jan. 14 when he received a report of a homicide case. Even though enough officers were on duty, he still felt a strong desire to respond to the call.
“Trying to enjoy my lunch and this urge, this abrupt urge, that’s the best way I can describe it, came, and I ended up going to the call,” he told local news station FOX5.
Quintana then rushed to the scene of the crime and learned that 40-year-old Emily Ezra had been arrested after allegedly shooting her ex-husband, Paul Ezra, while their five children were inside the house, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Emily has been charged with open murder with a deadly weapon.
The situation hit too close to home for Quintana, who said his father was murdered by a relative when he was a kid.
“For me, it brought back a memory from my childhood where my father was killed by a family member of mine,” he explained, adding, “That’s sad. That’s extremely sad because now these kids are going to go to Child Haven.”
While other responding officers were leaving the scene, Quintana could not help but think about the welfare of the children.
He later discussed fostering the children with his wife, Amanda, who initially had some reservations about the proposal.
“Understandably so, she was absolutely reluctant towards it,” he said. “I was like, ‘Well listen, hun, just meet them, because you might just fall in love with these kids. Just meet them.'”
Days later, the couple scheduled a meeting with Child Protection Services.
“I look at the kids and I say, ‘Hey, look, the reason why we’re here is because I had a thought. I’d like to take every single one of you. I’d like to take you in our home,'” Quintana recalled. “And the 16-year-old gasped for a sec and said, ‘Really?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’ ”
Quintana also told the local news station that being a father was always part of his plan.
“I didn’t really have a father figure growing up. I’ve always longed for that father figure in to be a father, to love my child the way I would’ve loved my father to love me,” he added.
The Quintanas are now in the process of getting certified as foster parents and have also expressed interest in permanently adopting the kids eventually.
The couple has not received any financial assistance since they have not yet obtained their fostering licenses. However, the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association took the initiative to set up a GoFundMe page for the family.
Quintana said the past month has been “very humbling” since welcoming the kids into his home.
“It’s amazing. There’s just so many different emotions and so many different things, adjectives to describe it all,” he said. “I think about every single last one of them, from the oldest to the youngest. Now, I’m not just thinking about these decisions for my wife, now I’m thinking about it for my wife and our kids and our kiddos now.”