[Fund for the family of Officer Brad Fox: Fox Children's Fund; C/O Continental Bank; 661 W. Germantown Pike; Plymouth Meeting. M-Th 9-5, Fri 9-6]
A Plymouth Township Police officer was killed in the line of duty Thursday.
Bradley Fox, 34, a K9 officer and seven-year veteran of the force, was shot in the head at about 6:00 p.m. 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].
Plymouth Township police will be off duty through at least September 19. Volunteers to cover their shifts were being solicited from other police forces around the region on Thursday night.
Earlier story and updates follow.
Update 9:33 p.m. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman has confirmed the death of Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox. Fox's K9 partner was also shot but is expected to survive.
Ferman said this Fox is the first Plymouth Township police officer to die in the line of duty.
Update 9:08 p.m. The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the officer who was wounded is in critical condition.
Update 8:47 p.m. A representative of the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety said that residents in the vicinity of the shooting are not at risk at this time, calling the situation "safe."
The representative would not confirm whether a search for suspects is still underway in the area.
We continue to await a statement from Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman.
Officers and area residents continue to gather outside Montgomery Hospital, where the wounded officer was taken and, according to numerous sources, reportedly died. Editor James Myers describes the mood as "somber."
Update 8:00 p.m. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman is expected to give a statement to the media shortly at a location near the scene.
SEPTA service to and from Norristown was suspended minutes after the shooting was first reported.
A search for an indeterminate number of additional suspects continues in the vicinity.
Update 7:41 p.m. Plymouth Township police chief Joseph Lawrence has reportedly arrived at Montgomery Hospital, where the injured officer was transported. He paused outside the hospital to speak with and console other emergency responders.
Update 7:20 p.m. Breaking News Network is reporting that both the injured police officer and the wounded subject have died.
This information is extremely preliminary. We are attempting to obtain confirmation from an official police source.
Update 7:08 p.m. A body-armored police tactical unit and armored vehicle have entered the area.
There was a report a short time ago that Pennsylvania State Police officers assisting in the search area heard additional gun shots, but this has not been corrorborated. Patch editor Kyle Bagenstose, who is a few hundred feet from the initial scene, said he could hear no additional shots.
Whitemarsh and Whitpain police units are reportedly covering Plymouth's other police calls at this time.
Update 6:58 p.m. Breaking News Network reported that the injured police officer is 30 years old and that the injured suspect may have been fatally wounded.
There are possible additional suspects in the area. Police units from as far away as Cheltenham are assisting in the search.
Update 6:38 p.m. Sources tell Patch that a suspect has been located just 20 yards from the initial scene. He is reportedly also shot. We are attempting to get official confirmation.
Initial story below.
Numerous reports are coming in of an officer shot in Plymouth Township.
The incident reportedly took place along Conshohocken Road in the Township. The roadway is being shut down between Ridge Pike and Conshohocken Borough.
We are unable to confirm a report by the @MontcoAlerts Twitter feed that the officer was shot in the head.
Police are searching for a suspect described as a light-skinned black male with a thin build, shorts, and a light-colored t-shirt.
The suspect is being described as armed and dangerous.
Avoid the area. Police from many surrounding areas are en route to the area to assist in the search. Multiple police K9 units are being enlisted in the search.
The scene is a short distance from the complex where Montgomery County police and fire personnel conduct training.
We have a reporter near the scene. We'll update this article as more information becomes available.
* Photos courtesy of Patch reader Kristian Konetzny.
Information from Montgomery County public safety radio broadcasts was used in this report.