How police tracked down accused gunman charged in Temple University police officer's murder

Suspect found 12 hours after Temple University shooting

BySharifa Jackson WPVI logo
Monday, February 20, 2023
How police tracked down suspect charged in Temple officer's murder
Sources tell Action News the suspect told investigators he melted the gun he used in the killing of Temple University Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald.

PHILADELPHIA -- It only took 12 hours for police to arrest the suspect accused of killing Temple University police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald on Saturday night.

Miles Pfeffer, 18, was taken into custody Sunday morning at his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

On Monday morning, Temple police transported Pfeffer to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.

It wasn't hard for police to track Pfeffer's movements. ABC Philadelphia affiliate WPVI is told most of the incident was captured on surveillance video.

Authorities said the 18-year-old deliberately and fatally shot Officer Fitzgerald after a short pursuit and struggle near Temple University's campus.

Miles Pfeffer

According to court records obtained by WPVI, Officer Fitzgerald was initially responding to reports of a robbery when he first encountered Pfeffer.

SEE ALSO: Family, friends mourn loss of Temple officer killed in the line of duty

After the shooting, authorities said Pfeffer stood over the officer and shot him several more times in the head while he was on the ground. Pfeffer is also accused of trying to rob Officer Fitzgerald of his service weapon but was unsuccessful.

WPVI spoke to U.S. Marshal Robert Clark who was there when Pfeffer was caught. He says Pfeffer was apprehended using Officer's Fitzgerald handcuffs.

"That's a tradition that we do, any time there's a fallen officer," said Clark.

Documents revealed how officers were able to track Pfeffer down using the help of surveillance and other videos.

Shortly after the fatal shooting, video appears to show Pfeffer committing a carjacking.

That stolen car was found dumped. Authorities say Pfeffer then made his way almost an hour away to Buckingham Township.

"We worked and collaborated last night since the time of the incident. I think it's phenomenal for the family, for law enforcement, for the city to get someone in custody so quickly," said Clark.

Following his arrest, authorities spent much of Sunday afternoon searching the teen's large family home.

Sources told WPVI the suspect told investigators he melted the gun he used in the crime.

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WPVI's helicopter was above as officers sifted through a fire pit.

Chopper 6 was overhead in Bucks County on Feb. 19, 2023, as investigators gathered evidence in connection with the killing of Temple Officer Christopher Fitzgerald.

WPVI was also told authorities recovered several weapons from the property.

Sources said Pfeffer was accompanied by two other people, but they have not been identified.

Pfeffer was charged with murder, murder of a law enforcement officer and related offenses, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office. He is also facing charges in connection with the carjacking.