DA charges man for fatally shooting Temple police officer
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The U.S. Marshals office picked up a man Sunday morning in connection with the fatal shooting of a Temple University police officer. The suspect, 18-year-old Miles Pfeffer, was arrested in Buckingham Township, Bucks County.
Pfeffer, of Buckingham Township, turned 18 in January 2023.
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced that Pfeffer will be charged with murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking, firearm offenses, possession of an instrument of crime, and related offenses. The DA's office also adds that "Pfeffer is ineligible for release on bail."
Authorities also identified the late police officer as Chris Fitzgerald. Temple Police Association released images of the officer on their Twitter page.
The association also said that Pfeffer had been arrested in Fitzgerald's handcuffs.
Pfeffer was escorted by a convoy of law enforcement officers, including the U.S. Marshals, to Philadelphia Police Headquarters Sunday morning.
In less than 24 hours since a Temple officer was murdered, police recovered a trove of evidence.
Sources say security camera video showing the entire incident, witness accounts and police radio detailing every step of the shooting that happened in North Philly, where a memorial now grows in honor of that fallen officer.
"Officer down! All available units make way to Temple," the police radio said following the shooting.
As officers rushed to 17th and Montgomery, Fitzgerald was already down and left for dead from being shot several times.
The gunfire startled one student from her home.
"I heard like eight gunshots," one student said. "Just in shock, couldn't believe it was happening so close to us."
Investigators say Fitzgerald tried to stop three people, including Pfeffer, in a robbery. The two other involved with the robbery, including Pfeffer's brother, are in police custody for questioning.
But Pfeffer disregarded Fitzgerald's commands to stop.
An affidavit of probable cause obtained by CBS News Philadelphia through sources shows Fitzgerald is heard repeatedly on security camera video, telling the suspect to get on the ground.
When Fitzgerald caught up, police say a fight broke out between him and Pfeffer.
The Philadelphia District Attorney says Pfeffer then took out a gun and shot him in the head.
Pfeffer then stood over Fitzgerald and fired several more shots into his face and head area, according to an affidavit.
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, the district attorney's office said.
The District Attorney says the Pfeffer then carjacked someone.
Following the shooting and carjacking, Pfeffer allegedly went to 29th Street and Ridge Avenue, where he was picked up by his mother and driven to Buckingham Township.
According to the university, this is the first Temple police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General wrote in a statement:
"Today we join in mourning with the communities of Temple University and the City of Philadelphia, and the family of Officer Fitzgerald, who died a hero bravely responding to a dangerous and volatile situation. I want to offer my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones, who knew the danger he confronted in his job and supported him in his chosen profession - as do all families of law enforcement officers."
Meanwhile, the officer's family is in mourning.
"Not all heroes wear capes. and Chris definitely was a hero to this community," Juan Marrero, Fitzgerald's cousin, said. "He just didn't have a cape."
Marrero says family meant everything to the 31-year-old husband and father of four.
"He's the perfect dad to his beautiful kids and does everything for them kids," Marrero said. "I don't know how they're taking it right now that their dad is not coming home."
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