Serpas: Car in police officer's hit-and-run death located - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Serpas: Car in police officer's hit-and-run death located

Updated:
The garage on Gravier where the vehicle was located (Meg Gatto) The garage on Gravier where the vehicle was located (Meg Gatto)
The Porsche being towed from the garage Monday night The Porsche being towed from the garage Monday night
Kenneth Halley (photo from NOPD) Kenneth Halley (photo from NOPD)
New Orleans, La. -

Police have located a car that they believe may have been involved in the hit-and-run death of a New Orleans police officer in a traffic incident on I-10.

An NOPD spokesman says the car, a white late-model Porsche Panamera, was located at a garage in the 2600 block of Gravier Street in New Orleans Monday afternoon.  

Monday evening, NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters that the car has been confirmed as the one that struck and killed NOPD Ofc. Rodney Thomas early Sunday morning.

Investigators reported that the Porsche involved in the incident had damage on its right side and was missing a side-view mirror and a headlight.  

The spokesman also says investigators are interviewing a person about the car but would not provide further details.

In another development, NOPD issued this advisory Monday evening on a person of interest in the case:

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.

Police have located Halley and are questioning him about the case.  His connection to the deadly incident is not clear, and as Chief Serpas noted in his news conference, he has not been named a suspect.

Serpas said he expected multiple arrests after a full investigation and called the case a web of deception. "We have reason to believe that not only the driver may have been involved in subsequent behavior after the killing of Officer Thomas," Serpas said.

Serpas also said, "We are saddened by what we think we've been seeing. We're not going to prejudice anybody's rights but Officer Thomas was killed and run over like nobody cared about him."

Also Monday, the Mayor's Office reported in the following news release that the Crimestoppers reward for information in the case had been raised:

Earlier today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a $10,000 donation to Crimestoppers from his campaign fund to aid in the arrest and indictment of the driver of a 2011 or 2012 white Porsche Panamera suspected of hitting and killing NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas on the I-10 eastbound near the High Rise on July 7, 2013.

"I knew Officer Thomas not only as an exceptional police officer, but as an exceptional person," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "I am donating $10,000 towards a Crimestoppers reward for anyone who may have information about the driver of this vehicle. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family and fellow officers."

When matched with Crimestoppers funds, the total reward is $15,000.  

To report a tip anonymously, call 504-822-1111 or give a tip online at http://crimestoppersgno.org/.

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