North Las Vegas police officer takes in 5 children after father is fatally shot
LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — Jan. 14 started as a normal day for North Las Vegas Police Officer Nicholas Quintana.
He was on his lunch break when a homicide call came through dispatch.
“Trying to enjoy my lunch and this urge, this abrupt urge, that’s the best way I can describe it, came and I ended up going to the call,” he said.
Quintana raced to the crime scene at a home on Osaka Pearl Street, where a woman was arrested for allegedly shooting her husband.
Responding officers were shocked to find that the couple’s five children were still in the house.
“Wow. That’s sad. That’s extremely sad because now these kids are going to go to Child Haven,” Quintana said.
For Quintana, though, it was a sight he had personally seen before.
“For me, it brought back a memory from my childhood where my father was killed by a family member of mine,” he said.
Instead of leaving the scene, another urge hit Quintana.
“These thoughts like, ‘Hey, take the kids in,’ and I’m like, ‘What?'” he said he remembered thinking at the time.
He took the idea of fostering the children home to his wife, Amanda.
“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, the couple drove to Child Haven.
“She met the kids. After speaking with them for 15, 20 minutes, I look at my wife and say, ‘Hey, should we tell them?’”
Two days after meeting, they were driving home as a family of seven.
“I look at the kids and I say, ‘Hey, look, the reason why we’re here is because I had a thought. 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,’” he said.
Quintana says being a father has always been a goal.
“I didn’t really have a father figure growing up. I’ve always longed for that father figure in to be a father, to love my child the way I would’ve loved my father to love me,” he said.
Quintana said the past month has been an adjustment for all seven of them.
“It’s very humbling. It’s amazing. There’s just so many different emotions and so many different things, adjectives to describe it all,” he said.
But the officer said he would not trade any of it for the world.
“I think about every single last one of them from the oldest to the youngest,” he 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.”
The Quintanas started fostering classes so they can get their fostering licenses to receive some financial help. Until then, they are paying for everything out of pocket. The department set up a GoFundMe to help them during this time. To donate: gofundme.com/f/help-the-quintanas?qid=fa82e0eb66c510eb7c27eff68f5995c9
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