Funeral for slain DC Police Officer Joseph Newell, Jr. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Funeral for slain DC Police Officer Joseph Newell, Jr.

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A steady stream of mourners packed into the Jericho City of Praise Church in Landover to honor slain DC Police Officer Joseph Newell, Jr.

Councilwoman Yvette Alexander has known him for years, ever since she became a crime victim herself.

"Detective Newell was actually the officer who handled my case," Alexander says.

And he left a lasting impression--as a cop with compassion…even for the young men--who pulled a gun on Alexander.

"He was the type of person who would say, how can we rehabilitate them so they don't end up in this predicament."

And now, five days after his sudden and tragic death, relatives and friends are still in a state of disbelief over how his life ended, a dispute over yard work that his stepson refused to do, detectives say.

27 year old Antwan James is accused of shooting his step dad in the back, while he was on a stepladder, and when he fell off of it to the driveway, detectives say he stood over him and firing more shots-- a crime caught on a home's surveillance tape.

"Really there's no word to describe all that he was," Former Supervisor Durriyyah Habeebullah says. "He was just so dedicated to his kids, dedicated to the police department."

Joseph Newell leaves behind a grieving widow Bernadette, who he married just 20 months ago, two teenaged daughters and stepchildren, scores of relatives, and friends on the police force--his second family for the last 26 years.

"I am not sad. I don't focus on his death. I'm focusing on the way he lived his life. I want to remember all the good things about him, all the times he made me laugh," Habeebullah says.

DC Mayor Vincent Gray, who was the funeral, says the officer, who received countless awards during his two decades on the force, is about to get another one. A room at the new 6th District Headquarters, maybe even the entire facility, will be named after him.

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