Las Vegas, NV – A family of five children who were home when their mother murdered their father in January have been able to stay together because a compassionate North Las Vegas police officer took them home with him.
North Las Vegas Police Officer Nicholas Quintana was one of the officers who responded to the homicide call on Jan. 14 at a home on Osaka Pearl Street, KVVU reported.
Officers arrested a woman at the scene for fatally shooting her husband, and they were shocked to find the couple’s five children – ages six to 17 years old – had been home when the murder occurred.
“Wow. That’s sad. That’s extremely sad because now these kids are going to go to Child Haven,” Quintana said.
Child Protective Services took the five kids into its custody but said it would be impossible to keep them all together, according to KVVU.
The scene was personal to Officer Quintana.
“For me, it brought back a memory from my childhood where my father was killed by a family member of mine,” he told KVVU.
The officer said that was when he had an idea.
“These thoughts like, ‘Hey, take the kids in,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’” Officer Quintana recalled.
He said he went home and proposed the idea of fostering the children to his wife, Amanda, KVVU reported.
“Understandably so, she was absolutely reluctant towards it,” he said. “I was like, ‘Well listen hun, just meet the kids, just meet them, because you might just fall in love with these kids. Just meet them.’”
Three days later, Officer Quintana and his wife drove to Child Haven to meet with the children, KVVU reported.
“She met the kids. After speaking with them for 15, 20 minutes, I look at my wife and say, ‘Hey, should we tell them?’” the officer recalled.
“I look at the kids and I say, ‘Hey, look, the reason why we’re here is because I had a thought,’” Officer Quintana said he told the kids. “’I’d like to take every single one of you. I’d like to take you in our home.’ And the 16-year-old gasped for a sec and said, ‘Really?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,’ and of course, the oldest one says, ‘All of us?’ and I said, ‘Every single one of you.’”
The kids went home to live with the Quintanas two days later.
He told KVVU that he has always wanted to be a father.
“I didn’t really have a father figure growing up,” the officer explained. “I’ve always longed for that father figure, to be a father, to love my child the way I would’ve loved my father to love me.”
He said it had been an adjustment to learn how to live as a family of seven on the fly, KVVU reported.
“It’s very humbling. It’s amazing. There’s just so many different emotions and so many different things, adjectives to describe it all,” Officer Quintana said.
But he doesn’t regret the decision, the officer told KVVU.
“I think about every single last one of them from the oldest to the youngest,” the officer said. “Now, I’m not just thinking about these decisions for my wife, now, I’m thinking about it for my wife and our kids, our kiddos now.”
Officer Quintana and his wife have started taking fostering classes so they can get certified and received financial assistance for keeping the children, KVVU reported.
But in the meantime, the couple have been paying for everything for the five children out of their own pockets.
The North Las Vegas Police Department set up a GoFundMe to help the Quintanas with expenses for their new family.