Suspect arrested in killing of Temple University police officer
An 18-year-old man has been arrested and charged in the death of a Temple University police officer who was shot near campus Saturday night, officials said.
The Philadelphia District Attorney's office said Sunday the suspect, Miles Pfeffer, was arrested shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday at the Buckingham Township home where he lived by township and Philadelphia police, as well as state police and federal marshals. "Police used the fallen officer's handcuffs in placing the suspect under arrest," county prosecutors said.
CBS Philadelphia's Alicia Roberts reports that multiple weapons were seized, adding the residence belongs to Pfeffer's mother, who was at the home when her son was arrested. She was also taken into custody for questioning.
Officer Christopher Fitzgerald was shot while responding to a robbery, the university said.
Pfeffer will face charges of murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking and weapons crimes. Prosecutors said Fitzgerald was shot in the head.
"Pfeffer is also alleged to have attempted to rob Officer Fitzgerald of his gun and to have gone through his pockets, while the officer was laying on the ground and fatally wounded," District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement Sunday. "Pfeffer is further alleged to have committed a carjacking a short time after, close to the location of the officer's murder."
Fitzgerald was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the university said Saturday.
Officials at the school said Fitzgerald had been on its police force since October 2021.
"Officer Fitzgerald gave his life to selflessly serve and defend this community," Jennifer Griffin, the university's vice president for public safety, said in a statement. "This loss leaves an enormous hole in all of our hearts. He was a father, a husband, a son, a colleague, and a friend."
University president Jason Wingard said he was "heartbroken" and called the shooting "a gut-wrenching reminder of our police officers' daily bravery and sacrifices to protect our students, faculty, staff and community" as the city and the nation deal with "an unprecedented epidemic of violence."
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro tweeted that he and his wife were "devastated for the family of the Temple University police officer who was killed in the line of duty tonight, bravely serving his community."
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