VIRGINIA BEACH -- Today was the final farewell for Officer Brian Jones, the 34-year-old Norfolk police officer, husband and father of three who was killed in the line of duty on May 30.
About 1,500 enforcement officers, friends, family and others gathered at Rock Church in Virginia Beach for the emotional funeral service. Among the speakers was Officer Daniel Chaney, a former partner and his best friend, and his brother Daniel A. Jones.
“One thing I will always remember about my brother will be his laugh. His laugh, accompanied by his goofy smile, could brighten anyone’s day,” Jones said.
Then, as tears welled up and his voice cracked, he said he had a final promise to make to Brian.
"I’ll be there for Rebekah and the children, whether it’s financially or being a shoulder to lean on. Rest easy, my brother, I am on guard."
After a brief playing of Amazing Grace, Officer Daniel Chaney spoke and talked about Jones's priorities.
"His first priority was the Lord. Often times, no, everytime on the night shift, Brian would get to the car first. When I came out, he had his Bible out and would be praying."
"His second priority were his family and friends. He'd often tell me 'I can’t do that today because I’m taking my baby mamma out.' That of course, was his wife Rebekah. Mariah was his princess. He’d be hurting if he had to discipline her. If Brian was Batman, Bryson was Robin, always by his side. He was overjoyed with the progress Kyler was making."
Rev. Morales said Brian lived a life well lived.
"He loved his wife, children, he loved go and the church. One of the last conversations we had, he said 'Pastor, I just want to live for God and always be right with him.' When that bullet came that Friday night, and he was shot and killed in the line of duty, (Brian)He went on to be in eternity. He was ready to meet his maker."
Brian Moran, Virginia's Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, said, "It is not how Brian died that makes him a hero, but how he lived."
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim spoke about Jones's dedication to the city and acknowledged how hard his death has hit friends and colleagues.
“He died a hero. He will not be forgotten. To Rebekah and the entire Jones family, you will not be forgotten. We will be here for you."
Rev. Jonathan Roberts, a family friend, said "Not only was he a tough man, a lot of men are tough, but they don’t know how to love. Brian knew how to love and he showed that to his family first and foremost. Even the day of this death, before he went to work, he was outside putting a swing together for his children."
"Thank God for Brian Jones,” he shouted with passion.
The service ended with the playing of "I Will Always Love you," a final promise from his wife Rebekah, as mourners left the church.
Following the service, the processional made its way to Forest Lawn Cemetery on Granby Street in Norfolk, where he was laid to rest.
Also attending the service was Dorothy McAuliffe, the governor's wife, and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
Flags are being flown at half-staff over the State Capitol building in Richmond and in cities across Hampton Roads in respect and memory of Norfolk Police Officer Brian Wayne Jones.
ORDER OF SERVICE:
Music: 'Save a Place for Me' and 'You Raise Me Up'
Honor Guard Seated
Pastor and participants enter Prelude ends
Opening remarks - Rev. Jonathan Roberts
Remarks - Daniel A. Jones (brother)
Music - 'My Chains Are Gone' (Potter's House Choir)
Invocation - Rev. Leroy Briggs, Senior Chaplain NPD
Remarks - Officer Daniel Chaney (former partner and best friend)
Obituary and Scripture - Rev. Morales
Music - 'Homesick'
Remarks - Mr. Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Commonwealth of Virginia
Remarks - Honorable Paul Fraim, Mayor, City of Norfolk
Remarks - Michael Goldsmith, Chief of Police, Norfolk Police Department
Message - Rev. Jonathan Roberts
Music - Rev. Jonathan Roberts
Benediction - Rev Robert Roadcap
Postlude - 'I Will Always Love You' (dedication from Rebekah to Brian)
Graveside service by Rev Jonathan Roberts, Norfolk Police Honor Guard, U.S. Navy