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“We have found the car that we believe is involved and the web of deception that we think we have found around where that car was has now required us to assign the him iced division to this case to co-investigate this with the fatality unit,” says a disappointed NOPD Police Chief Ronal Serpas.

At 8.50pm Monday the car that stuck and killed officer Rodney Thomas was towed from a Mid-City repair shop.

“We are saddened by what we think we’ve Ben seeing. We’re not going to prejudice anyone’s rights but Officer Thomas was killed and run over like someone that nobody cared about,” says Serpas.

Police are over overcome with emotions. They say it appears several people were involved.

“We now have reason to believe that not only the driver may have been involved in subsequent behavior after, the killing of officer Thomas. We’ll continue to investigate that and I suspect in the coming days we will have a lot more to say,” says Serpas.

Ironically the damaged, white Porsche Panamera was found across the street from NOPD Headquarters.

Police say they’ve been questioning several people including Kenneth Halley. The 28-year-old has a lengthy wrap sheet. Serpas says he is not a suspect at this time.

A New Orleans East man says he saw NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas on the high-rise before he was hit and killed.

Restaurant co-owner Michael Dummett can`t shake from his mind watching the policeman`s heroic efforts, only later to discover was fatal hit and run victim Officer Thomas.

Dummett has a message for everyone, including the officer’s family.

“It needs to be reported that he just didn`t die standing up outside his car at the accident. This man was trying to avoid other people getting into an accident of perhaps lose their life.”

Dummett  says when he passed on the high-rise  it was dark, no flares or flashlight and he did not see Thomas’s crashed police car till the last moment, “If he did not get out of his car to do this (motions arms) folks would have just careened right into the back of the car.”

Once news broke about the fatal hit n run, Dummett says he immediately recognized the fallen officer from Big Shirley’s, “ I`ve seen him in our restaurant before. He was a nice well-spoken gentleman. Really nice.”

Dummett says he doesn`t know Officer Thomas’s family but he hopes they hear his testimony, “He died doing his job. So I really feel like Serpas lost one of his good guys. That`s definitely my message.  He was serving to the bitter end.”

kenneth halley(from the New Orleans Police Department) – New Orleans Police are asking for your help in locating 28-year-old Kenneth Halley who may have information pertaining to the fatal hit and run of Officer Rodney Thomas.

Officer Thomas was involved in a minor traffic accident on the I-10 eastbound near the High Rise yesterday morning at about 1am.  He subsequently got out of his car and walked to the other vehicle involved to see if anyone was hurt.  While out of his car, Thomas was struck by another vehicle, which left the scene. EMS arrived shortly after and Thomas was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

If anyone knows anything about the accident, please immediately call NOPD or CrimeStoppers at 504-822-1111.

photoNew Orleans Police Department spokesman Officer Frank Robertson tells WGNO News that officers have located a white Porsche Panamera in a body shop in Mid-City.

The car fits the description of the vehicle which hit and killed Officer Rodney Thomas early Sunday morning.

Note from Curt Sprang on the scene:

Walking distance from NOPD HQ.

Business has sign saying Best of the Best Automotive and Collision Center.

Door to repair shop is currently closed — no pic of car available right now.

News
07/07/13

NOPD Officer Killed in Hit & Run

The New Orleans Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Officer Rodney Thomas, who was 52 years old, was killed in a hit-and-run early Sunday morning.

The NOPD says Officer Thomas was involved in a minor accident on the I-10 Eastbound High Rise around 1:00am.  He got out of his car and walked to the other vehicle to see if anyone was hurt.  Thomas was struck by another vehicle that fled the scene.  He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Police believe the vehicle that fled the scene is either a 2011 or a 2012 white Porsche Panamera.

rodney thomas2

Officer Thomas had been with the NOPD for 8 years and worked in the Second District.  He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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