Senior Police Officer Gail Thomas
Chasity Jones (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
ATLANTA -- A 22-year-old woman suspected of driving drunk and killing a veteran Atlanta police officer was denied bond Thursday.
Chasity Jones of Stone Mountain had her first hearing Thursday morning at the Fulton County Jail. She has been charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving in the death of 46-year-old Senior Police Office Gail Thomas.
A preliminary hearing for Jones is scheduled for Feb. 9.
Thomas was killed just after 11 p.m. Tuesday while responding to a call to assist another officer investigating an accident on the I-75 southbound ramp to I-85 north.
After Thomas exited her vehicle, she was struck by a passing car and was later pronounced dead at the scene.
The freeway was shut down for hours as police conducted their investigation, finally reopening just after 3 a.m.
Chief George Turner remembered Thomas as "a great spirit." She began her career as a dispatcher 20 years ago, but was then encouraged to enter the police academy to become an officer.
"She was also a member of our honor guard and she did that with great valour. She was always out front, always willing to do what other folks just simply wouldn't. She is a testament to what I would hope all of our officers are," said Turner.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed released a statement about Thomas Wednesday afternoon.
"I am deeply saddened that one of our police officers lost her life in the line of duty last night," Reed said in the statement. "Senior Police Officer Thomas was a veteran police officer whose sense of duty and commitment to public safety inspired many of her fellow officers. The city of Atlanta is quiet as we mourn this terrible loss. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and colleagues during this difficult time."