Woman whose thank-you note left on OPD squad car went viral meets that officer for the first time

Published: Sep. 3, 2019 at 11:56 PM CDT
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A thank-you note left on an Odessa police officer’s squad car continues to be shared across social media.

Bria Montes saw the devastation of Saturday’s mass shooting firsthand at Medical Center Hospital where she works.

She said she was so full of gratitude for the officers who put their lives on the line to end the bloodshed and this was the least she could do.

“You do not know me and I do not know you,” the note read. “But I thank you for your sacrifice. You put your life on the line every day to protect our community. I can not express how grateful I am.”

Corporal Gary Potter found this heartfelt note on his squad car over the weekend and was so moved by Bria’s words, he knew he had to meet her.

The two exchanged warm words right outside MCH where survivors are still recovering from gunshot wounds.

Survivors who might not have lived if it wasn’t for the bravery of officers like Potter.

“These officers are just selflessly going in there, trying to get all these people that are injured,” Bria said. “Getting all these people that are hurt and trying to stop this person as well.”

Potter explained he was out of town during the shooting and almost came home to tragedy in his own family.

His wife and daughter were shot at while driving down 42nd Street, only one car away from the 17-month-old girl who was hit.

After returning to find his family shaken and crime scenes covering his city, that note hit home.

“That one on my car that day just, man, I needed it,” Potter said to Bria. “I’d seen so much other stuff, but me and my family. My wife, my daughter appreciate it.”

Potter said he hopes more people take the time out of their day like Bria did to stop and thank first responders for their sacrifice.

“Just a thank you, a handshake, anything like that,” Potter said. “A handwritten note, it means the world. It’s more valuable than winning the lottery or something. It is very, very powerful.”

Bria hopes that her words going viral online will inspire others to do just that.

“Everyone can kind of feel encouraged to go do small stuff for officers, cause it really means a lot to them.”

Bria said she wants to meet up with Corporal Potter again soon to buy him a meal.