A police officer died after she was dragged by a suspect’s car following a traffic stop in Newport News, Virginia, on Thursday.
Officer Katie Thyne, 24, and her partner conducted the traffic stop in the 1400 block of 16th Street to investigate reports of drug activity, according to WTVR.
“At some point during the encounter with the driver, he accelerated, dragging the officer,” the Newport News Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.
Chief Steve Drew said Thyne’s bodycam footage showed the moment when the car hit a tree one block away, pinning her between it and the car’s door.
When emergency crews arrived, the officer was rushed to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and later pronounced dead.
She left behind her 2-year-old daughter and several other family members.
Thyne, who was also a Navy veteran and reservist, joined the police department in 2018, according to Fox 8.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and shipmates of Katherine Thyne,” the Commander of Navy Reserve Forces Command said in a statement.
“A logistics specialist in the United States Navy Reserve, she was assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Norfolk. As a Sailor who served her country in more ways than one, we are deeply saddened by her loss,” the statement said.
Drew said Thyne was passionate about law enforcement and that it would take time for the department to heal following its tragic loss.
“Katie was a true hero and she served this community. She was very active in the community. If you ever saw her, all she did was smile. She was always smiling,” Drew said.
The driver, later identified as Vernon Green II, faces charges of felony homicide, felony evade and elude, and possession of narcotics.
The car’s passenger, Ivy Runnels, was also arrested on a drug charge.
“Officer Thyne was an amazing mother, officer and friend. Words cannot adequately describe how much we miss her. She will always be a part of the Newport News Police family,” the department wrote Friday.