A Temple University police officer was fatally shot while on duty near the Philadelphia campus on Saturday night.
The officer, whose identity has not been released, was responding to a robbery at the time, according to the university.
“There are simply no words that can make sense of such a tragedy,” University President Jason Wingard said in a statement. “It tears at our sense of community and safety. We all mourn this unspeakable loss.”
“This loss comes at a time when gun violence continues its horrific impact on our city and our country,” Wingard wrote. “Philadelphia and the nation are dealing with an unprecedented epidemic of violence, and the tragedy that took place tonight is a gut-wrenching reminder of our police officers’ daily bravery and sacrifices to protect our students, faculty, staff and community.”
The suspect fled the area and both the university police and Philadelphia Police Department are investigating the incident. The statement said the school is keeping the identify of the officer private “out of respect for the officer’s family and friends.”
“This loss will reverberate throughout our community. It will impact all of us in the days and weeks to come. We encourage Temple community members to seek support,” Wingard added.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) also offered his condolences on Saturday night, sharing on social media that he was “devastated” by the news.
“We’re sending prayers to his loved ones, Temple Police, and the entire @TempleUniv community,” Shapiro said. “May his memory be a blessing.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) said he was “heartbroken and outraged” by the news.
“The City of Philadelphia joins the Temple community in mourning. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he wrote in a tweet.
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This story was originally published February 18, 2023, 11:02 PM.