Newport News, VA – Newport News Police Department (NNPD) Officer Katie Thyne was murdered in the line of duty on Thursday, after she was dragged by a vehicle that was fleeing a traffic stop.
The fatal encounter began in the 1400-block of 16th Street at approximately 6:47 p.m., WAVY reported.
Officer Thyne, 24, and a second Newport News police officer responded to the area due to a report of drug activity, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said in a press conference on Friday morning.
After removing a passenger from the suspect vehicle, the officers turned their attention to the driver, who was later identified as Vernon Green WAVY reported.
Officer Thyne was standing inside the open driver’s side door when Green suddenly stomped on the accelerator.
The officer was unable to back away from the car in time, and was dragged for approximately one block before the vehicle slammed into a tree, pinning her.
“She was in between that door and that tree,” Chief Drew explained.
Green attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was apprehended after a brief chase.
Officer Thyne was rushed to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Chief Drew said that there is bodycam footage of the fatal incident, and described it as being “very clear,” WAVY reported.
Green has been charged with felony homicide, possession of narcotics, and felony evade and elude.
The female passenger in the suspect vehicle was also arrested on a drug charge.
Chief Drew had to pause to regain his composure as Officer Thyne’s photo was projected onto the large screen beside him during the emotional press conference.
“If you ever saw her, all she did was smile. You almost started to laugh because she was always smiling,” Chief Drew told reporters.
Officer Thyne, a New Hampshire native who was both a U.S. Navy veteran and reservist, joined the NNPD in 2018.
She was assigned to the South Precinct’s evening shift, Chief Drew said.
He recalled having spoken with Officer Thyne when she first joined the force.
“This is what she wanted to do,” the chief recalled. “She wanted to be in law enforcement, and she wanted to do it in this city.”
Officer Thyne was also very active in community events, and was an assistant basketball coach at the local Boys and Girls Club.
“She is, and will always be, a valued member of the department,” Chief Drew said. “Katie was a true hero.”
Officer Thyne leaves behind her partner and her two-year-old daughter, as well as her mother, stepfather, and brother.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Newport News Police Department Officer Katie Thyne, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Katie Thyne, your life mattered.