NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — An Easter Sunday gesture two years ago gave rise to an unlikely friendship.
“I was patrolling his neighborhood after a call, and here he comes, little Jeremiah, he was 8 at the time, bringing a box of food with chicken and corn and bread and all kinds of good stuff,” said Newport News police officer Ervin Beganovic.
Jeremiah Shavers’ mom, Tempestt Shavers, had sent him out with Easter dinner.
What she calls a random act of kindness had a big impact on Beganovic, who returned the gesture by bringing lunch to Jeremiah’s class.
“They loved it, and we were buds ever since,” Beganovic said.
That positive relationship is exactly what Shavers hoped for, since she worried for her son as he grew up in the Waverton Ashton Green Apartments.
Beganovic was patrolling that Easter Sunday two years ago because of a shooting the week prior that left a high school senior dead.
Several months later, two 15-year-olds were found shot dead in the same complex.
“I wanted my son to have a positive experience with an officer,” Shavers said. “I want him to grow up to be a great young man and understanding that it’s more rewarding to give and just to have a general care and love for people.”
Beganovic hopes to be that example. He attends Jeremiah’s football games, talks to him about his future, and this year, spent part of his Easter weekend with Jeremiah.
“I took him for a drive, took him out to eat, we just talked, danced, listened to music,” Beganovic said. “You believe that there’s good out there in the world and you have to stop and become the good.”