Home » Temple University police officer shot and killed trying to stop carjacking

Temple University police officer shot and killed trying to stop carjacking

by Ghassan

By Patrick Reilly

(MAINNEWS) – A Temple University police officer was shot and killed while trying to stop a carjacking near the school’s Philadelphia campus on Saturday night, authorities said.

The officer, who was on duty at the time, was shot in the head near 18th Street and Montgomery Avenue around 7 p.m., police said.

The officer was taken to Temple University Hospital where he died from his wounds.

Additional details on the shooting were not immediately released by police.

The officer’s identity has not been revealed, however, sources told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the slain officer was 31-year-old Christopher David Fitzgerald — the son of prominent Philadelphia police official Joel Fitzgerald who spent 17 years with the Philadelphia Police Department and held important roles with other law enforcement agencies.

University officials said Fitzgerald is the first Temple police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

No arrests have been made.

Philadelphia police officers investigate the fatal shooting of a Temple University police officer near the campus on Feb. 18, 2023.

Scores of police officers and community members gathered outside of the hospital to mourn the loss of the officer, WPVI reported.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw vowed to bring the suspect to justice at a press conference Saturday night.

“[The Philadelphia Police Department] is doing everything that 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 that is doing the same and wishing harm amongst our law enforcement community and our Philadelphia community,” she said.

Police have located the vehicle that was involved in the carjacking, according to WPVI.

“There are simply no words that can make sense of such a tragedy. It tears at our sense of community, and wounds us to our very soul. Temple has lost an officer and hero to senseless violence. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family, friends and the entire Temple community during this tremendously difficult time,” a statement from Temple University said.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said that his officer is “already collaborating with PPD to bring the responsible parties to justice.”

Mayor Jim Kenney said he is “heartbroken and outraged” by the senseless killing.

Police embrace each other at Temple University Hospital following the fatal shooting.

Temple police officer Rossman Shaffer, the secretary of the Temple police union, told the Inquirer that the shooting “was predictable” and said the university needs to provide its officers with additional resources.

“He did not have a partner to patrol one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city,” the told the newspaper.

The neighborhood surrounding the university has been plagued by crime affecting students who live there in recent years.

In November 2021, a student was fatally shot less than two blocks from campus during a botched carjacking.

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Then last November, 11 students were robbed by masked gunmen in a terrifying home invasion.

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