CONYERS, Ga. (CBS46) -- Loved ones, friends and fellow police officers packed Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers Monday for the funeral of a retired Covington assistant police chief who was murdered nine days ago in Mississippi.

Almond Turner, 69, was remembered as a man of great character who honored his family and friends and served his community his entire adult life.

For 45 years, Turner was a Covington police officer. He retired in 2016 as Covington’s longest serving city employee. For the last 23 years of his life, he was a member of the Newton County school board. He also served his church as a deacon and head of security.

“We had a little band together when we were in high school,” recalled Raymond Hammonds outside the church. “He was just a friend to everybody. He was. I never really heard him say anything bad about anybody.”

Turner was at a family birthday party in Meridian, Miss., Nov, 23 when according to police, his nephew, 41-year-old Christopher Denson entered with an AK-47 style rifle and fired shots. Turner was struck and killed. Another family member wrestled the gun away. Denson got away but was arrested at his apartment later that day.

“That’s what nobody can understand,” said Hammonds. “Why?”

Before the funeral, at a specially called school board meeting, a black cloth was draped over Turner’s chair as board members adopted a resolution.

“Almond Turner’s dedication and commitment to students and employees of Newton County School System will never be forgotten,” read board chair Shakila Henderson-Baker.

“He is legendary,” Henderson-Baker added, “and you do not come across that often.”

Turner is survived by his wife Anita, three children and ten grandchildren.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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