Police, family say goodbye to fallen Va. officer
About 3,000 people, half of them law enforcement officers, gathered in Virginia Beach to honor the slain officer
By Gary A. Harki
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Every time Officer Brian Jones worked the night shift with his partner and best friend, Officer Daniel Chaney, Chaney would find him at the patrol car with his Bible out, praying.
"Chaney, you better get right with the Lord," Jones would say. "Because where we are going now is not half as important as where we are going after this life."
Jones was a man who loved God, his family and the Norfolk Police Department.
That simple message was repeated many times at his funeral Thursday.
Jones, 34, was shot May 30 with a rifle by James Andrew Brown, who also took the life of a 17-year-old Norfolk Christian Upper School student and wounded another police officer. Brown was shot dead by a third Norfolk officer after a struggle.
About 3,000 people, half of them law enforcement officers, gathered at Rock Church in Virginia Beach to honor the slain officer.
Jones grew up in Livingston County, Ky., and came to Hampton Roads while in the Navy, attaining the rank of petty officer second class. He joined the Police Department about five years ago. He is survived by his wife, Rebekah, and three young children.
Jones could talk anyone into anything, Chaney said, including persuading a sergeant to let two rookies ride together on the night shift.
His dedication to the job stood out.
Chaney recalled Jones pulling someone over about 2 a.m., near the end of their shift. Chaney tried to talk him out of it, but his partner replied, "Man, we're doing it for the people, not the money."
The Rev. Jonathan Roberts remembered Jones as a man who loved God, his country and his family.
"A lot of men are tough, but they don't know how to love. Brian knew how to love," he said. "Thank God for Brian Jones."
Jones' brother Daniel, an Army sergeant first class, recalled their boyhood, hunting squirrels in the woods.
"He had the weirdest laugh I've ever heard in my life," Daniel Jones said. "This laugh accompanied with his goofy smile could warm any room and brighten every day."
"My brother was everything I want to be," he said, "and everything I want my sons to be."
Several state and local officials attended, including Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, first lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim.
"No explanation can make sense of the senseless, irrational act that took him from us," Fraim said.
Departments from as far away as Pennsylvania and Kentucky sent officers to the funeral.
"It could be any one of us," said Sgt. Michael McCann, a Virginia state trooper who played bagpipes outside the service. "We want to share in the loss and show the family they are not alone."
Copyright 2014 The Virginian-Pilot