A Temple University police officer was fatally shot while responding to a crime near campus Saturday night, officials said.
The university’s vice president of public safety, Jennifer Griffin, said this was the first line-of-duty death in the history of the department, according to NBC Philadelphia.
The shooting was reported a few blocks west of the North Philadelphia campus after 7 p.m., according to a Temple University statement.
The university said the officer was shot while trying to apprehend a person suspected in the robbery of a convenience store. The shooting happened several blocks from the store, according to the statement.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told reporters the officer was shot when he tried to intervene in a carjacking.
The officer was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he died, she said.
The officer’s identity was being withheld “out of respect for the officer’s friends and family,” Temple University President Jason Wingard said in a statement. He said the shooter fled the area.
“There are simply no words that can make sense of this tragedy,” Wingard said. “It tears at our sense of community and safety.”
Gov. Josh Shapiro tweeted that he and first lady Lori Shapiro were “devastated” for the family of the officer who was killed while “bravely serving his community.”
“May his memory be a blessing,” Shapiro said.
Gemma DiCasimirro, Brittany Kubicko and Elizabeth Maline contributed.