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Sketch artist draws portrait of Officer Katie Thyne to keep her memory alive

Posted at 3:32 PM, May 26, 2020

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Artist Hayley Lyons put pencils to paper and started drawing a portrait of fallen Newport News Officer Katie Thyne.

The portrait was drawn on a base that was 19 x 20 inches, she said. Lyons, who is from Florida, presented the finished piece to the Newport News Police Department and Chief Steve Drew last week.

"You drew this? Oh my gosh,” Drew said in amazement in a video capturing the moment Lyons presented the sketch to him.

The presentation was part of her visit when she came to visit family in Hampton Roads. Her uncle is a Newport News Police officer.

"It gave me a cause for what I'm doing. It's not just like, 'Oh, I'm drawing; it's a fun hobby,” Lyons told News 3. “It felt like it was for a purpose, which is always nice."

Lyons said she heard about Thyne’s tragic death from her uncle. She was killed when she was dragged by a car during a traffic stop on the evening of January 23.

She said she immediately ordered supplies and started working.

“I definitely felt a little bit of sorrow when I was making it,” Lyons said. “It's just kind of so hard to come back from.”

Related: Steel designer creates large-scale badge replica in Officer Katie Thyne's memory

It took her three months to draw, using whatever free time she had -- from work and her personal life -- to make sure it looked just like the portrait of Thyne that has been shared on social media and in news reports.

Lyons said she hopes to do other memorial sketches in the future for fallen first responders.