NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Sorrow and grief filled the streets of Newport News Saturday afternoon as fallen Officer Katie Thyne’s casket arrived, with people saying their final farewells along the roads of the procession, WTKR reported.
The hearse carrying the fallen officer’s casket stopped in front of the agency’s South Precinct. Chief Steve Drew approached and briefly knelt. In a solemn moment of honor, he then stood and gave the hearse, and Thyne, one last salute. The large crowd was absolutely silent during the tribute. Then, sirens broke the stoicism as the procession continued.
“It literally broke my heart to hear my daughter calling me hysterically because one of her coworkers had passed,” Peggy Evans said. “It’s even more heartbreaking how it happened.”
Evans’ daughter Kinesha Shultz is a Newport News Police officer. Evans said she is like a mother to a few other officers, but for Shultz, Thyne was her sister in blue.
“I remember her (Thyne) when she first got here, when she was in FTO training,” Shultz recalled. “I remember having a few conversations with her. She’s one of us, she’s our sister.”
Caitlin Bollhorst, a new police academy recruit, began her training the day Thyne was killed.
“It’s very tragic. I put myself in her shoes, we are the same age,” Bollhorst said. “My nickname is ‘Katie’ as well so it’s very close to home and I just feel for her.”
Regardless of the tragedy that occurred Thursday night, she’s not second-guessing her decision to enter law enforcement. Bollhorst said her father was also a police officer, according to WTKR.
“It definitely motivates me. I have no second thoughts, I’m still on the path that I want,” Bollhorst said. “We are family right off the bat.”
Bollhorst said she will be in the academy for almost six months and is expected to graduate in July. As for Evans, while she said this could have been her daughter, she stays strong and confident with her faith.
“My faith in God, you know, I just pray for her protection and I leave it there with him,” Evans said. “My faith is what keeps me going.”
Saturday’s events were simply a procession. At this time there are no plans for the funeral, as per an email from the Newport News Police Department, WTKR reported.