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Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Temple University police officer in Philadelphia

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

(PHILADELPHIA) — An 18-year-old man was arrested Sunday for the fatal shooting of a Temple University police officer in north Philadelphia, authorities said.

Miles Pfeffer, 18, of Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania, is facing charges including murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking and related offenses in the shooting on Saturday night that killed Officer Christopher Fitzgerald, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Fitzgerald encountered Pfeffer during the course of an “incident investigation” near Temple’s campus, the DA’s office said. Pfeffer allegedly shot Fitzgerald in the head, killing him. Pfeffer also allegedly attempted to rob Fitzgerald of his gun and is said to have gone through his pockets while the officer was laying on the ground and fatally wounded.

Pfeffer is alleged to have committed a carjacking a short time after, near the location of the officer’s murder, authorities said.

The suspect was taken into custody Sunday morning in Bucks County by the U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement and transferred to Philadelphia shortly after the arrest.

“We join law enforcement and people across the region in expressing our heartbreak and outrage over this horrific crime,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. “Officer Fitzgerald’s life was ripped from him and his loved ones violently and senselessly. As the DA’s Homicide Unit begins the work of holding Miles Pfeffer accountable for his alleged crimes, our Victims Services team will also be extending loving support to Officer Fitzgerald’s family and loved ones.”

Temple President Jason Wingard said he was “heartbroken,” in a statement.

“There are simply no words that can make sense of this tragedy,” he said.

The death of the officer was the first for a Temple University officer in the line of duty, Jennifer Griffin, the university’s vice president for public safety, said at a news conference Saturday night.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro offered his condolences on the death of the officer.

“Lori and I are devastated for the family of the Temple University police officer who was killed in the line of duty tonight, bravely serving his community. We’re sending prayers to his loved ones, Temple Police, and the entire @TempleUniv community. May his memory be a blessing,” Shapiro tweeted Saturday.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “heartbroken and outraged” by the death and pledged that “The City will continue to work with Temple Police to support them during this difficult time.”

Temple University alerted shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday that a shooting was reported on the 1700 block of Montgomery Avenue.

“Use caution. Avoid the area. Police are responding,” the school tweeted.

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