A police officer in Texas was captured giving his equine partner comfort and solace Thursday as she lay dying after a freak accident.
The horse, Charlotte, and Officer D. Herrejon were working as a team for the Houston Police Department's mounted patrol, which helps monitor downtown. It was there on Thursday that tragedy struck.
A spokesperson for Houston police told BuzzFeed News that the team was on routine patrol around 10:50 a.m. when Charlotte got spooked on Fannin Street just before a cement truck stuck her. Herrejon was thrown off while Charlotte's hind legs were severely injured.
With her injuries deemed too severe for meaningful treatment, a vet was called in to euthanize Charlotte at the scene.
It was during her final moments that this photo was taken of Herrejon comforting her on the street.
Houston officials said a in a Facbook post on the incident that they admired Herrejon's fortitude in the moment, adding that "when you lose an animal, to be with them during their last breath is a heartbreaking & tough thing to do."
Herrejon was taken to the hospital, where he is recovering from injuries sustained in the fall. And while an investigation into the incident remains ongoing, officials said the driver of the cement truck is not considered to be at fault.
Later on the same day of the accident, Houston police posted an update with a tribute to their fallen hero.
Thousands of people posted comments to offer their condolences.
Houston police also described Charlotte as an outstanding officer and four-year veteran of the department.
Rest in peace, Officer Charlotte.
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