Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox was killed in the line of duty Thursday.
Fox, 34, a K9 officer and seven-year veteran of the force, was a former graduate of William Tennent High School in Warminster. He was shot in the head at about 6:00 p.m. Thursday by an unidentified suspect in the vicinity of Conshohocken Road and Ernest Station Road, near the Schuylkill River Trail.
The suspect, whom Fox had been pursuing following a hit-and-run accident, was also killed. It is unclear who fired those fatal shots. Fox's canine partner, Nick, was shot and wounded but survived, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said Thursday night.
Fox, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, would have turned 35 years old on Friday. He leaves behind a wife and young daughter and was expecting a child.
Plymouth Township Chief of Police Joseph Lawrence called Fox a hero and said his death was a "senseless, senseless act for a car accident."
Fox is the first member of the Plymouth Township Police Department to be killed in the line of duty. A memorial page on Facebook had already more than 4,400 followers late Thursday night.
Ferman said the deceased subject was believed to be the only suspect in the case and that the public was not in "imminent danger." An investigation was ongoing late Thursday night at the crime scene.
Police units from all over the region poured into the area in the hour after Fox's shooting was reported on county public safety radio.
As police combed the mostly industrial stretch of land between Conshohocken Road and the Schuykill River, a vigil formed outside Montgomery Hospital, where Fox had been transported. Colleagues, friends, and nearby residents thronged the entrance of the hospital. Lawrence arrived at about 7:30 p.m. and lingered outside the hospital to speak with and console some of the people who'd gathered before going inside.
Later in the evening, following Ferman's confirmation of his death, Fox's body was removed from the hospital and transported from the scene by a coroner's vehicle, which was escorted away by an honor guard as onlookers saluted [see video].