On June 23, 2003, Our fears became a reality.
On that day we, the family of Rodney Pocceschi, suffered a traumatic loss. Time will never heal our pain. We miss him, remember him and long for him – every minute, every hour, every day.
Officer Rodney Pocceschi, age 33, was shot and killed while making a routine traffic stop on Dam Neck Road in Virginia Beach, VA. The driver of the car, LeKeith Speller, a 6-time convicted felon, opened fire. Unbeknownst to Officer Pocceschi, Speller and his passenger had just robbed an IHOP and were fleeing the scene when he stopped them. The suspect and Officer Pocceschi were fatally wounded in the ensuing exchange of gunfire.
Speller had six felony convictions. He had been indicted by a Virginia Beach grand jury in 2002 for assaulting Virginia police officer and leading the police on a car chase. He had been sentenced to 21 months in jail in February 2003, but was out on bail pending an appeal when the altercation occurred.
Rodney grew up in Luzerne County, PA and was a 1988 graduate of Pittston Area High School. He attended Bloomsburg University where he studied criminal justice. Graduating in 1992, he began his law enforcement career with the Bloomsburg University Police Department and the Nescopeck Police Department.
In 1999, Rodney moved to Virginia Beach to further his career in law enforcement. Rodney became a VA Beach Police Offiicer in 1999. In 2003, Rodney had received a promotion into Special Operations. His work was cut short by this tragedy.