Officer Brad Fox would have celebrated his 35th birthday on Friday.
The Plymouth Township police officer was killed in the line of duty while responding to a call for a hit-and-run Thursday afternoon.
Officer Fox and K-9 Officer Nick were investigating a three-car crash on Ridge Pike in Conshohocken when a 2006 Infiniti SUV drove by at a high-rate of speed in the other direction.
The officers pursued by car and after the SUV struck another vehicle they found it abandoned off Ernest Station Road, according to prosecutors.
Officer Fox and his K-9 pursued the driver on foot and called for backup. Responding officers found Fox's body between railroad tracks and the Schuylkill River Trail, prosecutors said.
Fox had been shot in the head. "There are just no words that can begin to express the magnitude of this tragedy, " said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman at a Thursday night press conference.
The suspect, identified as Andrew Charles Thomas, died from two gunshot wounds to the chest and was found on the other side of the train tracks from Fox. An autopsy performed Friday afternoon showed that Thomas shot himself in the chest.
"I think we're all in shock. This is the very first time that the Plymouth Township Police Department has had to deal with an officer killed in the line of duty," said Ferman.
Fox had a little girl and his wife is pregnant with their second child.
"Officer Fox served two tours of duty in Iraq. He put his life on the line day in and day out. Men around him lost their lives. He was able to come back from that service, come back to the comfort of his country and to lose his life so senselessly today, there are just no words to explain how horrific it is, how senseless it is," Ferman said.
Fox had been with the Plymouth Township police department for seven years, said Chief Joseph Lawrence, who called the officer a "hero." He had just graduated from the Philadelphia K-9 school.
His fellow officers gathered outside the emergency room Thursday night as Fox's body was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office.
Fox's K-9 officer Nick was also shot, and survived.