Watch CBS News

Temple police officer shooting: What we know

Timeline of Temple University Officer Chris Fitzergald's shooting
Timeline of Temple University Officer Chris Fitzergald's shooting 01:28

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A memorial for a fallen Temple University police officer continues to grow as the city prepares to honor him in a funeral service.

Temple police officer Chris Fitzgerald was shot and killed following a robbery near campus Saturday night in North Philadelphia. The incident happened on the 1700 block of West Montgomery Avenue just after 7 p.m. 

The shooting came about two weeks after a city police officer was shot during a vehicle investigation in West Philadelphia.

Here is what we know about the shooting so far.

Who was the officer killed?

Temple University's Police Association President Alec Shaffer said Fitzgerald was known as "Fitz" within the department.

"Fitz is our hero," Shaffer said. "He really is. He's the guy we kind of strive to be."  

Officer Chris Fitzgerald Temple University Police via Twitter

Fitzgerald leaves behind a wife, four children, countless friends and family members.

Fitzgerald followed in the footsteps of his father, Joel Fitzgerald Sr., who was a Philadelphia police officer.

Joel Fitzgerald Sr. served in Philly for 17 years before taking leadership positions in several other cities. He's currently the transit police chief in Denver.

Denver's Regional Transportation District released a statement Sunday, saying in part: "We send our deepest condolences to the entire Fitzgerald family and all those mourning Christopher."

Slain Temple officer followed the footsteps of his father 00:28

What are the funeral arrangements for Fitzgerald?

Viewing for fallen Temple University police officer happening Thursday 00:48

A viewing for Fitzgerald will be held Thursday night at the Givnish Funeral Home on Academy Road.

Another viewing is set for Friday morning at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City. A funeral and memorial service will follow.

CBS News Philadelphia will stream Fitzgerald's funeral.

Who is the suspect? 

Miles Pfeffer, 18, allegedly shot Fitzgerald in the head. He turned 18 in January. 

U.S. Marshals took Pfeffer into custody at his home on the 2300 block of Quarry Road in Buckingham Township, Bucks County, on Sunday morning. 

Pfeffer was arrested in Fitzgerald's handcuffs, police say. Investigators seized multiple weapons at his home in Bucks County, sources told CBS Philadelphia.    

Sources also say Pfeffer claimed he destroyed a firearm in a burn pit on his property. 

Pfeffer was escorted by a convoy of law enforcement officers, including U.S. Marshals, to Philadelphia Police Headquarters on Broad Street Sunday morning.

Pfeffer was with two other teens during the robbery. Police said they provided information that led to Pfeffer's arrest. There's no comment if they'll face charges.

Pfeffer's mother was also taken in for questioning, and there could be charges coming, according to police. 

What are the charges?

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office charged Pfeffer with murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, possession of an instrument of crime and other related offenses for the incident. 


The district attorney's office also said Pfeffer "is ineligible for release on bail."

Pfeffer's carjacking charges will be listed as separate from the murder charges, District Attorney Larry Krasner said Tuesday during a news conference.

What led up to the incident? 

Investigators say Fitzgerald attempted to stop three people in a robbery just off Temple's campus Saturday night. 

Authorities say one of them disregarded Fitzgerald's commands to stop. 

Once Fitzgerald caught up, a fight broke out between him and Pfeffer, according to police. Pfeffer then took out a gun and shot Fitzgerald in the head. 

Pfeffer then stood over Fitzgerald and fired several more shots into his face and head area, according to an affidavit. 

Pfeffer allegedly attempted to rob Fitzgerald of his gun while he was dead on the ground. Pfeffer also went through his pockets, according to the district attorney's office. 

Following the shooting, Pfeffer allegedly carjacked someone close to the incident. 

After that, Pfeffer allegedly went to 29th Street and Ridge Avenue, where his mother picked up and drove him to Buckingham Township.  

Police sources tell CBS Philadelphia in the hours after Fitzgerald was shot and killed — family members of Pfeffer provided investigators with information they needed to find him — including a cellphone number that pinged at a residence in Buckingham Township.

What has the officer's family said?

Family of fallen Temple officer Chris Fitzgerald wants justice 02:25

Fitzgerald's relatives have said they want justice for the fallen officer. His wife, Marissa, said losing him in the line of duty was one of her greatest fears.

"If our family can go through this, any family out there can go through this," Joel Fitzgerald said. "And it's one too many."

What have local officials said? 

The fatal shooting of a Temple officer comes as concerns have continued to grow about crime around the university's campus.

School officials, including president Jason Wingard, discussed the fatal shooting Saturday night.

"Tonight, I am devastated. The entire University community is devastated," Wingard said. "We are heartbroken. We are heartbroken tonight. One of our beloved police officers at Temple University has lost his life tonight. I just met with his wife, and his family, and his fellow police officers. There are no words to convey just how heartbroken we all are. I spoke with Governor [Josh] Shapiro and Mayor [Jim] Kenney tonight, and they have offered their full support. Tonight, I just ask you all in the Philadelphia community to pray for our beloved brother. Please pray for the Temple community. Tonight is a very sad loss."

Jennifer Griffin, Temple University’s vice president for public affairs, comments on fallen officer 00:38

"Our hearts are broken," Jennifer Griffin, the vice president for public safety at Temple, said. "We're devastated at the loss of a Temple University police officer who was protecting and safeguarding our community when they were taken from us. This is the first Temple University police officer killed who has lost their life in the line of duty. We are eternally grateful for the love and support we have received from our fellow officers, the Temple community, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and countless other agencies who have reached out to us. We ask you to please pray for the officer, their family, and our Temple Police family. The Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Unit is investigating this incident, and they are utilizing every resource available."

"We want to do everything we can to not only offer condolences to our Temple PD Family, Temple Community, but to all of our law enforcement community in the city," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. "This is happening way, way too much. And PPD is doing everything we can to make sure that not only is this person responsible taken into custody and brought to justice, but for every other suspect out there doing the same and wishing harm amongst our law enforcement community and our Philadelphia community."

A vigil was held at the Bell Tower on Temple's campus in memory of Officer Fitzgerald. 

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Gov. Josh Shapiro ordered flags to fly at half-staff.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.