TWO men are still being quizzed on Sunday over the death a female police officer who was killed a stolen car.
Constable Philippa Reynolds was the back seat passenger in the silver Vauxhall Vectra Car when it was struck by a stolen 4 X 4 Toyota Land Cruiser after it jumped a red light.
She had joined the PSNI two years ago after switching careers from teaching.
Matt Baggott led the tributes to the young female police officer killed by a stolen car while on patrol early on Saturday morning.
And the PSNI Chief Constable has vowed that a dedicated team of officers would track down the car thieves behind the death of Phillipa Reynolds.
Earlier, officers arrested two men on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and taking and driving away a stolen vehicle.
An investigation has been launched after the policewoman died in a crash involving a suspected stolen car in Derry/Londonderry.
The 27-year-old was on a routine patrol in a police car when the incident happened on the Limavady Road around 3.40a am.
PSNI Constable Philippa Reynolds died in the collision on the Limavady Road at 3. 40 am on Saturday.
Constable Reynolds, from the greater Belfast area, was on a routine patrol in an unmarked police car at the time.
Two other officers in the car were injured, but not seriously, the PSNI said.
Two men made off from the scene in the direction of Ebrington. The road is closed at the junctions with Glendermott Road and Clooney Terrace.
The Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has been informed and the PSNI are appealing for witnesses to contact them.
The PSNI Chief Constable said on Saturday lunchtime that it was “with great sadness” that he learned of the death.
“This is a personal tragedy for her family and also for the whole Police Service,” said Matt Baggott.
“She was out on duty, working to keep people safe, when she died.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. I and my colleagues will ensure that no stone remains unturned as we work to bring to justice those who perpetrated this crime.”
PSNI district commander Stephen Cargin said Constable Reynolds was “in the prime of her life, beautiful, friendly”.
“(She was) one of the most enthusiastic officers, just a really bubbly personality, somebody who wanted to be a police officer,” he said.
“Her colleagues are devastated, as I am as her commander, as we are as a police service, but she just typifies her colleagues – out there doing a good job.”
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers said it was a “tragic waste of a young life in sad and reckless circumstances”.
Northern Ireland’s first and deputy first ministers also expressed sympathy.
In a statement, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said: “Officers in the PSNI put their lives at risk on a daily basis to serve and protect our community and we are all truly grateful for their dedicated service.
“Those who commit a crime such as vehicle theft must realise their actions can have serious consequences.”
Justice Minister David Ford said his thoughts and prayers were with the woman’s family.
“I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery,” he said.
“It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling.”
Chairman of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board, Brian Rea, said he was shocked by the incident.
“To lose a colleague, out on patrol protecting the community, is a terrible blow to the PSNI,” he said.
Mark Durkan, SDLP MP for Foyle, said the policewoman was “tragically killed in the line of duty whilst doing her job to protect the community.”
The shock felt across the community will be matched with disgust that such criminal activity has led to this tragic death.
“My sympathies go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time, as they struggle to come to terms with this tragic news. My thoughts are also with the wider police family, not least those who were on duty alongside her, who have lost both a friend and a colleague,” Mr Durkan added.
Stormont Justice Minister David Ford said his thoughts were with the policewoman’s relatives and the injured officers.
“I was shocked to hear of this tragic incident which resulted in the death of a police constable who was carrying out her duties serving the community in the middle of the night,” he said.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
“I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery. It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling.”
Ross Hussey, Ulster Unionist Policing Board Member, said: “This young woman’s death in the line of duty serves to re-emphasise the dangers faced by the officers of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on a daily basis, as they put themselves in harm’s way to protect the whole community.”
“They deserve our full support,” the West Tyrone MLA said.
Brian Rea, Chair of the Policing Board, said “los(ing) a colleague, out on patrol protecting the community, is a terrible blow to the PSNI”.
“On behalf of the Policing Board I would like to offer deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this young woman,” Mr Rea said.
“They will have received the terrible news this morning and will be devastated by this tragic event.”
Raymond McCartney, Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, has also expressed his condolences.
“I would like to offer my condolences to the family of the young policewomen who died in last night’s tragic incident. And would urge anyone who has any information in relation to it, to bring it forward to the PSNI straight away,” the vice chair of the Justice Committee said.
The Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, has extended his deepest sympathies on the death of the young police officer.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with our friends in Northern Ireland as they mourn the loss of their colleague. We also wish a speedy recovery to the officers injured in the incident,” he said.
Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them .
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Strand Road Police Station on 0845 600 8000 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.