NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Fighting back tears, Newport News Police Steve Drew addressed the community following the death of Newport News Police Officer Katie Thyne. Thyne was killed during a traffic stop at about 6:47 p.m. Thursday.
"Katie was a true hero and she served this community," Chief Drew said. "She was very active in the community. If you ever saw her, all she did was smile. She was always smiling."
Thyne and her partner were investigating reports of drug activity when they approached a car along the 1400 block of 16th Street, Newport News Police said.
During the course of the investigation, the driver sped off, dragging Thyne for about a block, Chief Drew said referencing the officer's body camera footage recorded at the scene.
The car hit a tree and Officer Thyne was pinned between the tree and the car's door, Chief Drew said.
Thyne was rushed to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Thyne, a Navy veteran, leaves behind a two-year-old daughter. The New Hampshire native joined Newport News Police in 2018.
"She wanted to be in law enforcement and she wanted to do it in this city," Chief Drew said.
The driver of the car, identified as Vernon Green II, was taken into custody and charged with felony homicide, evading and eluding, and possession of narcotics.
In her free time, Thyne helped coach basketball at the Boys & Girls Club.
Games scheduled for this weekend will be played in her honor.