18-year-old arrested in connection with killing of Temple University police officer

PHILADELPHIA — Authorities took an 18-year-old into custody Sunday morning in connection with the shooting death of a Temple University police officer, school officials said.

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Update 12:55 p.m. EST Feb. 19: Officials with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on Sunday told WTXF-TV and KYW-TV that Miles Pfeffer, who turned 18 last month, will be charged with murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery and other crimes.

Pfeffer is accused of killing Officer Christopher David Fitzgerald, a father and husband who joined the Temple University police force in October 2021.

Police told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Pfeffer has a juvenile criminal record in Bucks County. Officials with the district attorney’s office told KYW that he was “ineligible for release on bail.”

Original report: Jennifer Griffin, Temple University’s vice president for public safety, described the person apprehended as a “person of interest.” She identified the person slain as Officer Christopher David Fitzgerald, who had been part of the police department since October 2021.

“Officer Fitzgerald gave his life to selflessly serve and defend this community,” Griffin said. “The courage and bravery he displayed highlights the day-to-day sacrifice made by our Temple University Police Officers to keep our community safe. This loss leaves an enormous hole in all of our hearts. He was a father, a husband, a son, a colleague, and a friend.”

Earlier, the Temple University Police Association said in a social media post that a suspect was taken into custody in connection with Fitzgerald’s death.

“We are told that the arrest was made using our fallen officers handcuffs,” the organization said.

U.S. Marshals arrested the 18-year-old around 7 a.m. Sunday in Bucks County, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Unidentified sources told WPVI that he would be charged with homicide, although officials did not immediately confirm the report.

Supervisor Deputy U.S. Marshal Rob Clark confirmed to the news station that Fitzgerald’s handcuffs were used on Sunday.

“It’s a tradition that we do anytime there’s a fallen officer, and we thought it was important to remember Officer Fitzgerald by … placing his cuffs on the suspect,” he said.

A fellow police officer described Fitzgerald to WPVI as “everything you would want in a police officer.” He was an avid runner, according to the news station.

Temple University President Jason Wingard initially said that Fitzgerald was killed while trying to apprehend a robbery suspect. However, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw later said that “the officer tried to intervene during a carjacking and was shot,” according to the Inquirer.

The Temple University Police Association has started a memorial to remember Fitzgerald.