Officials have stated that a man who is 18 years old has been detained and charged in connection with the shooting death of a Temple University police officer who occurred near campus on Saturday night.
The office of the District Attorney for the city of Philadelphia stated on Sunday that the suspect, Miles Pfeffer, was taken into custody shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Sunday in Buckingham Township at the home where he resided by township and Philadelphia police, in addition to state police and federal marshals. According to the statements made by county prosecutors, “police utilized the fallen officer’s handcuffs in order to place the suspect under arrest.”
Pfeffer’s mother was present at the apartment when her son was taken into custody, and Alicia Roberts of CBS Philly reported that many weapons were found and taken into custody. The residence belonged to Pfeffer’s mother. Also, she was detained for the purpose of interrogation.
According to the university, Officer Christopher Fitzgerald was killed by gunfire while responding to a robbery call. Pfeffer is going to be charged with a variety of serious crimes, including homicide, assassination of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking, and firearms offenses. According to the prosecutors, Fitzgerald had a gunshot wound to 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.”
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According to a statement released by the university on Saturday, Fitzgerald was transported to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. Fitzgerald, according to officials at the school, had been a member of the school’s police force since October of 2021.
Jennifer Griffin, the university’s vice president for public safety, said in a statement (as reported by CBS News) –
“Officer Fitzgerald gave his life to selflessly serve and defend this community.”
“This loss leaves an enormous hole in all of our hearts. He was a father, a husband, a son, a colleague, and a friend.”
Jason Wingard, the president of the university, said he was “heartbroken” and called the shooting “a gut-wrenching reminder of the bravery and sacrifices our police officers make every day to protect our students, faculty, staff, and community” at a time when the city and the country are dealing 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.”