New Haven honors fallen Minneapolis police officer born in Elm City – NBC Connecticut

Tears flowed in Minnesota after police officer Jamal Mitchel rushed to help a man lying shot dead on a Minneapolis street before the suspect ambushed him and unexpectedly shot him.

Officer Mitchell was killed in the line of duty on May 30. Two other people and the suspected shooter also died in that shooting.

“He was a phenomenal officer with a mega smile and a Colgate smile,” a Minneapolis police officer said of Mitchell.

Now the New Haven native is being brought home.

“It’s a loss for the Minneapolis community, but also a loss for the New Haven community because Jamal had strong roots and our community grew up here,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

After a funeral in Minnesota, the body of the 36-year-old fiancé and future stepfather will be flown to Bradley International Airport on Wednesday accompanied by his family and colleagues, said New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson.

“The New Haven Police Department, along with the Connecticut State Police, will go to the tarmac and bless the body,” Police Chief Jacobson said.

He added that a large number of local police officers will participate in a funeral procession from the airport to the McClam Funeral Home and then attend a memorial service next Monday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at James Hillhouse High School. Officer Mitchell will be buried at Evergreen Cemetery in his hometown.

“For someone to come along and take his life, someone who is a father figure to young children who grew up in New Haven, who went to Wilbur Cross High School and were part of our community, is just horrific,” said Mayor Elicker.

The mayor says friends remember playing with Mitchell as a young boy in the Westville neighborhood. He is in contact with the mother of the slain police officer.

“I was inspired and impressed by his mother’s fortitude,” said Mayor Elicker. “I can’t imagine losing a child, and what she’s been through in the last week and a half must have been so difficult.”

The Elm City now vows to honor Officer Mitchell’s ultimate sacrifice as a hometown hero returns.

“It’s really important to recognize this officer for what he did,” said Chief Jacobson. “He gave his life.”