COVINGTON, Ga. — Several members of the Covington community said an emotional goodbye on Friday to former assistant police chief Almond Turner after he was returned home to the community he served and loved.
Investigators said that Turner, who was well-known and respected here in Georgia, was shot and killed by his nephew at a family gathering in Mississippi.
Friday's candlelight vigil in Covington Square was a chance for those who knew him to show support for his family as well as the police department that's also mourning his loss.
And hundreds did just that.
"We started out a law enforcement career walking our beat - the square," Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown said.
That was more than 40 years ago. After the news of his tragic death, those he served came back where it all started - many with friends, family and their children.
"It's nothing less than what I expected. I knew that it would be a turnout like this or more because that's the kind of person he is," Belinda Bell said. "And his character speaks for itself."
One family member even said Turner took on a very important role in a time when he needed him to the most.
"That was my brother, but he became my father when my father died at the age of four," he said.
A father, a brother and a man of God, Turner was also a church deacon and served on the Newton County School Board.
"You're here because of him and I know that the works that he was doing [that] have yet to be done will be done by all of you," his son Dwahn Turner said to the crowd.
"As we stand here together on common ground, let's stay united and let's keep these torches burning," Captain Ken Malcom added. "Let's do it all for Almond. Let's do it for this precious Turner family. Let's do it for Newton County."
Turner's funeral is set for Monday at 11 a.m. at the Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers. It will be open to the public.