Colleagues at Virginia’s Newport News police department paid an emotional tribute to 24-year-old Katie Thyne, as they revealed she had died as a result of “multiple injuries” she suffered.
Officers said Ms Thyne had a two-year-old daughter and a partner.
“There is a lot of healing that needs to take place,” police chief Steve Drew said a press conference on Friday morning. “There is no timetable for that.”
The department said the officer had been dragged by a vehicle after trying to stop it on Thursday evening in Newport News, a coastal city located 70 miles to the south east of Richmond, the state capital.
“At some point during the encounter with the driver, he accelerated, dragging the officer,” the department said.
It said the vehicle then crashed, pinning the young woman to a tree.
“After being transported to the hospital, the officer succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.”
On Friday, Mr Drew described Thyne as a “true hero” who always had a smile on her face.
According to Fox News, Mr Drew said Thyne served in the US navy Reserves before coming to the department in 2018.
Thank you to those who have reached out to comfort the NNPD, our City and all who are impacted by this terrible tragedy. Please continue to keep this officer and the heroic men and women of the NNPD in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/vlhPMAGwJH— City of Newport News (@CityofNN)January 24, 2020
She leaves behind a partner, a two-year-old daughter and other family members. She also served as an assistant coach with a basketball team at the local Boys and Girls club, said the police chief
He added “If you met her, if you ever saw her - all she did was smile She is and will always be a valued member of this department.”
Police said a male driver who fled the scene was taken into custody after being chased by other officers.
He has not yet been identified, but Mr Drew said he had been charged with murder. A woman also arrested at the scene has been charged with a drug offence.