Police Officer Natasha Hunter New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana End of Watch: Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Police Officer Natasha Hunter | New Orleans Police Department, LouisianaNew Orleans Police Department, Louisiana

Police Officer Natasha Hunter

New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana
End of Watch: Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Biographical Info

Age: 32
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Date of Incident: June 5, 2016
Weapon Used: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Suspect Info: In custody

Agency Contact Information

Superintendent Michael Harrison
New Orleans Police Department
715 South Broad Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone: (504) 826-2828

Police Officer Natasha Hunter succumbed to injuries sustained two days earlier when her cruiser was struck from behind by a drunk driver on I-10, near the Esplanade Avenue exit.
Officer Hunter was blocking traffic for another officer who was conducting an accident investigation when the drunk driver drove through cones and struck her cruiser. She was transported to a local hospital where she remained in grave condition until succumbing to her injuries.
The driver of the vehicle that struck her was taken into custody and charged with first-degree vehicular negligent injuring and reckless operation.
Officer Hunter had served with the New Orleans Police Department for 11 years. She is survived by her 5-year-old daughter.

NEW ORLEANS – Officer Natasha Hunter has died from injuries suffered in this weekend’s crash, the New Orleans Police Department said Tuesday.
Hunter suffered traumatic brain injuries after being inside of a police vehicle when it was struck by a car, believed to have been driven by a drunk driver.
Hunter was working on a car accident on Interstate 10 near the Esplanade Avenue exit early Sunday morning.
NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said that flares had been placed around the accident and that officer Hunter was inside her vehicle when it was struck. She was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries.
Her family has been by her side during the vigil.

Officer Hunter was an 11-year veteran of the NOPD and was most recently assigned to the First District.

"This is a tragic loss for her family, friends, fellow officers and our entire community," said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. "Officer Hunter was a dedicated public servant who loved her family, her job and serving her city. We will never forget the sacrifice she made and the hearts and prayers of our entire department our with her family today and always."

A public prayer vigil will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at NOPD Headquarters, located at 715 South Broad Street.

Officer Hunter was the mother of a 5-year-old daughter. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Harrison said that Hunter’s situation was devastating to the entire police force. He said he did not personally know Hunter, but that she was loved by all who knew her. 
Chau Thai Nguyen, 33, was initially facing on first-degree vehicular negligent injuring and reckless operation of a motor vehicle counts.  The charge was upgraded to vehicular homicide Tuesday, following Hunter’s death.

Nguyen was a student at Xavier University, seeking a pharmacy degree. "The Xavier University of Louisiana community is saddened to hear of the death of New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Officer Natasha Hunter, who died today of injuries she received while investigating a multi-vehicle crash early Sunday morning. This is a very tragic event, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

"It has been brought to our attention that the driver of the car who hit Officer Hunter’s squad car is a student in the XU College of Pharmacy. Our prayers are with the student and his family as well," said the university in a statement.

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