Norfolk, Va. - Inside Norview High School's auditorium Wednesday night, you couldn't hear anything but the cries of Rebekah Jones, as she and her two sons accepted the Police Cross in honor of her husband Officer Brian Jones.
The silent, somber exchange lasted only seconds before the crowd erupted in applause.
"It's the highest award that we got," said Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith. "We wish we didn't have to give it but certainly his actions that night are deserving of recognition, and I think it's something we can do for the family and the department as well to recognize that type of bravery."
Officer Brian Jones died when he took action nearly a year ago on May 30th. He ran to danger instead of away from it, to confront a gunman on a rampage who had just killed a 17-year-old boy.
"I've been with the department for 26 years," Chief Goldsmith said. "We have gone through quite a bit, but this situation was different. There was a lot attached to this incident and to lose an officer so quickly and tragically with everyone out there trying to keep it contained, there is just a lot of emotion attached to it."
The police chief says the award acts as a reminder to not only the type of officer Jones was, but also the type of man he was.
"Just the amount of lives that he touched," said Goldsmith. "His daily course of work with the communities, there is just no replacing Brian."