LINDEN, N.J. – After children in Linden heard about the shootout that injured two local police officers – they decided to do something about it.
What started as a project for the 3rd grade classroom turned school-wide.
To the kids at School 5 Elementary, Officer Padilla is known as Officer Angel. To them -- he is a hero.
"We are all so happy that you saved us," one girl wrote. "We are hoping that you can come to lunch."
"You're my hero... I hope you feel better," another said.
"Thank you officer for risking your life," one boy wrote.
Students in School 5 sheltered in place as the shooting when on just blocks away. Students as young as they are understood what the officers did so close by.
"He put the bad guy in jail so we can all be safe," one girl said.
The kids in the 3rd grade class talked with their teachers about the two Linden police officers who were hurt. Officer Peter Hammer and Officer Angel Padilla. Padilla spends time at the school regularly.
"Sometimes he would come play basketball and one time he came to pajama night," one boy said. "[He's my hero] because he risked his life to save us."
In return, they came up with the idea to write thank you cards and get well cards.
"It was the children's idea," their principal said. "They went to their teacher and they came down to me. You know because he is so visible in our school, they wanted to do something nice."
A heartfelt thanks that's sure to make anyone feel better. The kids at School 5 are hoping to deliver the cards personally to Officer Padilla - the next time he visits the school.