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LODD News

Virginia: Newport News Officer Dies After Being Dragged During a Traffic Stop

 The police officer killed during a traffic stop in Newport News on Thursday night was a well-liked young officer who just graduated from the police academy seven months ago, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a somber news conference Friday.

Katherine M. “Katie” Thyne, 24, a mother of a 2-year-old daughter, is a former Navy sailor who began with the department as a recruit in November 2018, graduated from the academy in June, and was recently assigned to the South Precinct as a patrol officer.

Thyne’s death Thursday evening during a drug investigation on 16th Street — during which she was dragged about a block and pinned between the fleeing car and a tree — is the Newport News Police Department’s first line-of-duty death in more than 25 years. Two officers were lost in 1994.

“She is, and always will be, a valued member of this department,” Drew said. “Part of tragic event ... that will affect this department and community, for the future of its existence. Officer Thyne — Katie — was a true hero. And she served this community.”

Thyne, a New Hampshire native, made Newport News her home after the Navy and was still in the Navy Reserves, Drew said. She was a coach of a girls three-on-three basketball team for the department’s “Chief’s Challenge” league at the Boys and Girls Club.

“This is what she wanted to do,” said Drew, who fought back tears several times during the news conference. “She wanted to be in law enforcement and wanted to do it in this city ... And she was very active in the community."

Her smile, the chief said, was infectious, causing others around her to smile, too. The basketball games she coached are scheduled for Saturday, he said.

“We had a conversation, ‘Should we cancel them?’" Drew said. "And the answer is no.”

Thyne’s toddler daughter, who Drew said “looks just like" her mother, recently celebrated her second birthday. Thyne also leaves behind a loving partner, he said, as well as her mother, stepfather and brother.

Police said the driver of the car in Thursday’s incident, Vernon Evander Green II, 38, of the 1300 block of 16th Street, is charged with felony homicide, a form of second-degree murder for accidental killings that occur during the commission of other another felony. He was also charged with marijuana possession and felony eluding.

But Drew said more charges are likely, with Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn to be involved in those decisions after an investigation.

 

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