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Officer Douglas Eric Drye | Norfolk Police Department, Virginia Norfolk Police Department, Virginia

Officer

Douglas Eric Drye

Norfolk Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch: Saturday, April 14, 1984

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 27

Tour: 2 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Shot and killed

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Officer Douglas Drye was shot and killed by a sniper while answering a disturbance call. The suspect was shot and killed during the ensuing standoff.

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Most Recent Reflection

With all the recent killings of police that have been happening recently,it reminded me of Officer Drye's murder in the line of duty.
I lived next door to the sniper and had called the police during the first disturbance. There was a party going on at the house on the other side of the sniper's. There was an argument outside between a man and a woman, and there were other people outside as well.I heard one of them slap the other,so I called the police and they broke that up.About a half hour later there was a horn honking a few times, then I heard a gunshot , then a female's voice screaming the name of the woman who was having the party. then it was all silent. No one was outside. I don't even know if the people at the party heard the gunshot. Again I called the police to report gunfire. I had assumed it was related to the earlier incident. It wasn't. When Officer Drye and his partner showed up (they had parked their car a short distance from the sniper's house and very cautiously had walked up to where the car with the victim was at.I was watching from my front porch,not knowing that it was my neighbor that had done the shooting). When the officers got to the car they askled for help in getting the woman out of the car.Both I and my brother(who lived next to the party house) came out, as well as another neighbor. I cut across the sniper's front yard to get to the car, which was parked right in front of his house .As I got between the house and the car,another gunshot rang out, .It sounded like a cherry bomb and gone off next to my right ear. Instinctively I dove over the car and into the street. The others also got behind cars that were parked outside. As I looked over ,I couldn't believe what I was seeing .Officer Dye was lying on his back in the middle of the street. He had been shot. His partner was on edge but kept his cool. I remember him saying,"Did anyone see where the shot came from?" His partner ,my brother and another neighbor were all behind the car in which the victim was. I was lying on the street next to the car behind it. Not knowing where the shot came from , I felt like any one of us could be shot next. We were all pinned down.It was late at night , around midnight maybe.I remember the others taking officer Drye across the street to the front yard opposite the sniper's house ,behind another parked car. Somebody banged on the front door shouting at them to either turn on or turn off the porch light,(I don't remember which). They tried to stop the bleeding,but the wound was too bad. Officer Drye died in my brother's arms. GOD REST HIS SOUL. I had never seen so many police respond so quickly to a call in my life. They were everywhere.At some point , more shots had been fired ,and that's when they determined the sniper was in the house next to mine. There was one plainclothesman who seemed to be in charge ,and he was trying to get the woman out of the car and not get shot, hoping she might still be alive. I was still halfway under the other car when he saw me, and I he asked who I was. I told him I lived next door.H e asked what kind of gun the guy might have, and I told him I knew he had an M-1 rifle. He finally told me I had to get out of there, and so I crawled across the street to another officer.We all had to go downtown and make a statement.The police dropped us off back as close as we could get to our homes, as they had blocked off the whole block.It was early in the morning and we could see down the street. All of a sudden you could hear dozens of gunshots going off,and a big cloud of white smoke win the street. The sniper had tried to make a run for it out the back door, armed to the teeth, but fortunately he didn't have a chance. The whole thing seemed so surreal, and it really didn't hit me until I went to the funeral home and saw Officer Drye's wife and baby daughter.That's when I lost it. Even as I write this, I am holding back a tear. Makes me wish I hadn't been one of the people who called the police that night.

Gary Bates (citizen)
witness
September 2, 2015

 

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