Multiple arrests in hit-and-run death of NOPD officer
Jay Vise Reporting
The NOPD has arrested several suspects related to the fatal hit-and-run incident in which off-duty NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas was killed Sunday morning.
Booked into Orleans Parish Prison on charges of manslaughter and "hit and run causing death or serious injury" is Justin McKey. (Photo above.)
According to NOPD Spokeswoman Remi Braden, the following persons were also arrested early this morning:
- Kenneth Halley, booked with Obstruction of Justice and Accessory After the Fact to Manslaughter
- Bill Cager, whom the NOPD says is the owner of the body shop where the vehicle was found: booked with Obstruction of Justice and Accessory After the Fact to Manslaughter
WWL-TV reports that court documents give further details of the incident.
According to court filings viewed by WWL-TV reporters, Officer Thomas was his uniform and wearing a reflective vest directing traffic after an accident on the highrise. When Thomas saw a white Porsche Panamera driving at a high-rate of speed, he attempted to flag down the vehicle. The report indicates the Porsche struck Thomas' truck, before hitting the officer and continuing with Officer Thomas on the hood of the car. After, Thomas fell off the vehicle's hood and the vehicle sped away.
In a Monday evening news conference, Serpas said more than 100 tips had come into Crimestoppers about the incident, and that there had been "a web of deception" surrounding the case. At the time, Serpas said there may be "several" arrests related to the case.
Officer Thomas joined the NOPD in the spring of 2005. Early Sunday morning, police say he was involved in a minor traffic accident on the I-10 high rise while on his way home from his beat -- and as he was walking up to the other vehicle to speak with the other motorist, he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says it's a loss to the department.
"Officer Thomas is exactly what we were looking for to turn this police department around," the chief said. "He is going to be incredibly missed by his family...and certainly the people of New Orleans and this police department."