Nephew shot at retired police chief 5-6 times with assault-style rifle, police say

Channel 2's Sophia Choi learned how the department and family are coping with the tragedy.

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Covington community is mourning a beloved former police chief and school board member who was killed Saturday.

Retired Assistant Police Chief Almond Turner was shot and killed during a family gathering in Meridian, Mississippi. His nephew, 41-year-old Christopher Denson, is charged with Turner's murder.

Police arrested Denson at his apartment complex Sunday. His bond is set at $1 million.

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Turner and his family were sitting around a table at 1st and 10 Gaming Lounge when Denson went outside, according to investigators.

He returned with an assault-style rifle and fired five to six shots at his uncle, according to police. Turner died from his gunshot wounds.

Police are working to learn Denson's motive but said there was no argument before the shooting.


Turner was born in Covington and retired from the Covington Police Department after 45 years of service. At the time, he was the city's longest tenured employee.

Channel 2's Sophia Choi spoke with Turner's former co-workers, who said they considered him a father figure.

"He helped raise me in this job," Capt. Ken Malcolm said.

Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton and two other officers traveled to Mississippi to help bring the family home.

"I'm even having a hard time wrapping my brain around it still.  And even being with the family right after this tragedy, we have so many unanswered questions at this point," Cotton said.

 Police said that despite retiring, Turner never stopped working in the community he loved.  Turner served as a school board member, a church leader and a musician in the community band.   

Turner leaves behind a wife, three kids and several grandchildren.

"They're in shock. They're in mourning. They suddenly lost the rock of their family," Malcolm said.