RICHMOND, Va. -- Some events in life can lead you down a different path.
Chris Brown's journey began March 23, 2010. on Richmond’s Southside. Chris was just 18 years old.
"I never thought it would happen to me," Chris said. "I was living here at St. John’s Wood and minding my business walking home. It happened so quick. Caught me completely off guard. Didn’t see it coming."
A masked gunman approached and demanded Chris’s money.
"I saw the guy approaching me. I didn’t think anything of it," Chris recalled. "He cocked the firearm and said 'I'm not playing.'"
On patrol along Jahnke Road that night? Detective Harry Brown.
"So, we got a call for a robbery. I'm on the way to the robbery and and I see a guy I know," Det. Harry Brown remembered.
"I jumped up in the middle of the street and started saying I got robbed," Chris said.
Chris and Harry, who share a last name, became friendly during Harry’s neighborhood patrols.
"When I heard he got robbed it was like hearing a family member got robbed. Like a brother got robbed," Harry said.
The gunman escaped with Chris’ money and was never caught. But his brush with danger, and the comfort Harry provided, crystallized Chris' dream.
"It made all of the difference," Chris said. "I felt so much better. I figured if anyone could help then this guy could."
Chris decided to follow in Harry’s footsteps.
Three years ago, Officer Chris Brown took and oath to serve and protect. he now works on the Focus Mission Team in Precinct 4 on Richmond’s Northside.
"Absolutely, it keeps you humble. It makes you want to be out there on the front line and represent the people that will make the difference," Chris said about being a police officer.
"If you can change someone’s life. If you can affect that one person that is what its all about,” Harry said.
The friends said that night eight years ago solidified their bond.
"Everything he has taken out of his life to do for me. I always wanted to give back and do for someone else," Chris said.
Detective Brown said he bursts with pride thinking of his young friend.
"I always knew he had it in him. I just wanted to be there when he needed it. Needed help,” Harry said.
Officer Brown said while his brush with danger will linger forever, because a friend came to his aid and showed him the way.
"I don’t tell him enough. I never really tell him. He literally paved the way for me to do the same for someone else," Chris said.
Watch CBS 6 News at 6 p.m. Thursdays for Greg McQuade's "Heroes Among Us" features. If you know of someone CBS 6 should should feature, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to view more "Heroes Among Us" reports.