A Temple University police officer said to have been chasing a crime suspect near the edge of campus was killed when a gunman stood over him and fired several shots into his head, then tried to steal his gun and empty his pockets before carjacking a getaway vehicle, law enforcement officials told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hours after the shooting of Officer Christopher Fitzgerald, federal and local law enforcement officials descended on the home of suspect Miles Pfeffer, 18, in affluent Bucks County, Pa., and arrested him on murder charges. Fitzgerald, 31, a father of four, is the son of the former police chief of Fort Worth, Tx., and Allentown, Pa., Joel Fitzgerald, the Lehigh Valley News reports.
According to the Inquirer, Fitzgerald was the first Temple University police officer to be killed in the line of duty. The Temple community was reeling Sunday, and officials said they would provide grief counselors and employee-assistance resources when classes resumed on Monday. In late November, Pfeffer posted a warning on his Instagram page. Beneath a photo of a male later identified as Pfeffer, his face obscured by fanned-out $20 bills and a pistol tucked in his waistband, read the caption, "Work smart not hard make stupid decisions face stupid consequences." Fitzgerald's cousin Juan Marrero Jr. said Fitzgerald's father spent 17 years with the Philadelphia Police Department before moving on to other positions, and that Fitzgerald's mother also worked in law enforcement. Fitzgerald started his career as a corrections officer in Allentown. “He came back down here to the city, Philly. This is everything he cared about,” Marrero said. “Law enforcement was in his blood.”