A routine missing child call on April 2 became worst day of Fort Worth Police Officer Damon Cole's 16-year career, he told BuzzFeed News.
Cole was dispatched to respond to a report of a missing 5-year-old boy. When he arrived, he found the mother crying and soaking wet in the driveway of the home where Joshua had been reported missing.
The woman had been searching a murky, black pool in her friend's yard where she suspected the boy had disappeared.
Cole immediately took off his belt and body armor and dove into the pool reaching for any sign of Joshua when he brushed against his body.
Cole and emergency medical responders attempted to resuscitate Joshua, who was wearing a Spider-Man shirt and shoes. But after an hour, he was pronounced dead at Cooks Children's Hospital.
Cole said on Facebook that he has had trouble sleeping ever since he found Joshua's body in the pool.
The officer met with the family a week after Joshua died.
Benny Gurment, Joshua's father, told BuzzFeed News that the loss of his son has devastated the family, but they consider Cole a hero.
"He did the best that he could to try to save my son," he said. "To me he's our hero. I told him he and I are going to be friends throughout."
The family told Cole that Joshua was a big Spider-Man fan and so they planned to give him a Spider-Man themed funeral.
Cole bought the family a Spider-Man costume for Joshua to be buried in after the family mentioned they were unable to buy him one.
"Joshua truly believed he was Spider-Man," Cole said.
The family told him that one day Joshua tried climbing a dresser believing he was Spider-Man when it fell on him.
"My spider powers must not be working today," Joshua said at the time, according his family.
It just happens that Cole travels the country visiting child cancer patients in superhero costumes, so he volunteered to attend the funeral fully dressed as Joshua's beloved hero.
"The little boy just loved Spider-Man," Cole said. "What better way to give that family that memory than to honor Joshua and Spider-Man."
When Cole arrived, the family gifted him with a plaque that read "Damon Cole, Police Hero Fort Worth."
"To me he's our hero," said Gurment. "I know he did what he could and he did his best and I am forever thankful he did his best."
Cole stayed by Joshua's side throughout the funeral services on Tuesday, just as he did the day the boy passed away. He said that dressing as Spider-Man also helped him deal with his own grief.
"As a police officer, I like to help people and I take pride in that," he said. "I wasn't able to save Joshua, but I wanted to be there to help that family through that tough time. If that meant dressing up as Spider-Man, then that's what I'll do."
Cole has since been nominated for a medal of honor by the Fort Worth Police Department.