12/03/2014 02:53 pm ET

The Surprising Reason This 73-Year-Old Widow Is In The Back Of A Squad Car

Last week, duty called Officer John Holder to a Desoto, Texas department store. No, it wasn't because of a crime or to manage Black Friday crowds. It was to help a 73-year-old widow shop for her Thanksgiving groceries.

The photo of the pair strolling the aisles of what appears to be a Walmart store, with Holder in uniform, pushing the cart, has brought attention to the humble officer's kindness.

"She just struck me as someone who really needed someone to care and help her out," Holder said of Dorothy Shepard. Holder first met Shepard six months ago, when he arrived at her home to do a wellness check as she recovered from knee and back surgeries.

Shepard, who lives alone, was stunned at the officer's kindness. "I was so surprised that I started rambling," she told WFAA-8. "He listened and he was patient."

Since then, the two have struck up a friendship, with Holder helping shuttle Shepard to doctor's appointments and to the grocery store -- in his squad car, while off-duty.

"I know police officers, but I never expected him to be that kind, and to go out of [his] way. He's just tremendous," Shepard said.

It's not the first time a random act of kindness from a police office has gone viral. In 2012, a photo of NYPD officer Larry DePrimo surfaced, as he bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man in the cold. And just days ago, as protests in response to the events on Ferguson, Missouri swept the nation, a picture of a police office hugging a peaceful protester became a reminder of hope among the protests.

h/t USA Today



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