By Allie Griffin
(MAINNEWS) – The heartbroken widow of the Temple University officer shot and killed over the weekend said she hopes her husband’s accused killer is haunted by his horrific actions for the rest of his life.
Marissa Fitzgerald didn’t mince words when addressing 18-year-old suspect Miles Pfeffer in an emotional interview with NBC10 News-Philadelphia Tuesday in which she also praised her late husband Christopher Fitzgerald as a hero.
“You had no right, you are a coward, you are evil, I know what you did to my husband,” the mother of four said. “You shouldn’t even be allowed to breathe because my husband is not breathing, but you get to have air flowing through your lungs.”
Pfeffer was arrested Sunday morning and is facing charges of murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking and illegal weapons possession over Saturday’s fatal shooting of the 31-year-old officer.
The alleged killer reportedly went through the Temple officer’s pockets and tried to steal his gun as he lay dying on the ground from the bullet wound to his head, prosecutors said.
“He took a family man, he took a father, he took a son, he took a brother, he took a nephew, you took so much,” Marissa told the local station. “Our lives will never be the same.”
“I hope that he’s haunted for the rest of his life, I hope he rots in a cell,” she added.
The devastated widow said she has “a lot of praying to do because I can’t forgive him right now,” noting that both she and her late husband are religious people.
The cold-blooded killing has left Marissa a single mother of four children between the ages of 7 to 13.
She said Christopher was “a very hard worker, he loved to do his job, but the best job he loved to do was being a father to those kids.”
“My kids will always know who their dad is,” Marissa said. “Their dad is a hero and he is our greatest hero.”
She said their kids — two boys and two girls — miss their dad terribly.
“I am going to try to be as strong as I can be because I know that’s what he wanted,” Marissa told NBC10. “I’m going to make sure that they know who their dad was. They already know. He’s the greatest hero we could ever have.”
The slain father’s own dad said he was never more proud of him.
“Chris was adamant that he could stay in Philadelphia and facilitate change,” Joel Fitzgerald Sr. said. “Although we’re devastated, we could never be more proud.”
Marissa said Christopher chose to be a police officer as a way of dedicating himself to serving the community.
“He really wanted to make a change for the city so that people could be safe and that the kids could be safe,” Marissa said. “My husband was not a bad person, he was such a good man and a good cop.. awesome cop.”
He became the first Temple officer to die in the line of duty, according to the university.
Christopher followed in the footsteps of his father, a veteran officer who led police departments in several US cities, including Fort Worth and Missouri City in Texas; Allentown, Pennsylvania and Waterloo, Iowa.
“He wanted to do it because he knew that was his method of giving back to our community,” Joel told the news station.
Marissa said she would make sure her husband’s legacy is carried on.
“He will not just be a portrait on the wall in the city.”
The grieving widow broke down into tears as she described her husband’s last words to her.
“He gave me a kiss and he told me that he loved me. And, I said ‘I love you too.’ And when he walked out the door, he said he’d be right back,” Marissa said. “He said, ‘I’ll be right back babe.’”