Bridgeport man vows to become cop after 12-year-old brother killed by gun violence

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BRIDGEPORT -

A Bridgeport man whose 12-year-old brother was fatally shot in 2018 is vowing to become a city police officer.

Clinton Howell, 12, was shot outside his East End home in 2018 just a week before Christmas. The shooting led to the arrest of four teens, including the gunman, an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica.

Gamel Dawkins, a 29-year-old technician, says he and his mom are still reeling from the loss, but becoming a police officer gives him new purpose. He met with Mayor Joe Ganim Friday to discuss his future.

"I know with distinction he'll serve, ultimately, and we'll be back for another story with him in full uniform, maybe raising his right hand as a member of the Bridgeport Police Department," says Ganim. "I look forward to that day."

He says he could have become bitter after losing his brother, but decided that protecting the public and helping spare other families the pain his family is going through was the healthiest way to channel his emotions into something positive.

"I feel that I can help out a lot with my experience, going through the death of my brother, and basically just trying to help families one by one to make a better community," says Dawkins.

Dawkins still has to go through the lengthy process of becoming an officer, but says he plans to continue working towards his goal.

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