Off-duty NOPD officer killed by hit-and-run driver; $5,000 reward for arrest


POSTED: Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 2:22pm

UPDATED: Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 3:25pm

An off-duty police officer was killed over the weekend after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Officials say the officer got out of his car after he was involved in a separate crash.

The Fraternal Order of Police for New Orleans identified the off-duty officer as Rodney Thomas, 52. He has worked for NOPD since March 2005.

“I want to express condolences on behalf of the entire New Orleans Police Department to Officer Thomas’ family," Supt. Ronal Serpas, NOPD, said. "He was very beloved, and this is a true loss for this community.”

According to reports, Thomas was driving on I-10 at the high rise at around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday July 7 when he was involved in a minor crash. He stepped out of his vehicle to check on the other driver. When he got out of his car, he was struck by a car.

The driver fled the scene. Witnesses say the vehicle was moving erratically before the crash. It is described as a 2011 or 2012 white Porsche Panamera. It should have extensive front-end damage, including a missing light kit and sideview mirror.

Thomas was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife and two children.

“Rodney was a well-liked, hard-working and dedicated police officer,” said Serpas. “He sincerely cared about the people he worked with, as well as the countless people he interacted with in this district. I’m sure I speak for the entire Second District when I say Rodney Thomas was our dear friend, and he will be sorely missed.”

If you know anything regarding the identity of the driver who caused the crash, call Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest. In addition, a $1,000 reward is being offered for the recovery of the vehicle.

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