NBC10.com - Deanna Durante
It was one year ago that a Plymouth Township police officer was shot to death by a hit and run driver. A memorial site has now been dedicated to him. The ceremony brought law enforcement together from the region. NBC10’s Deanna Durante reports.
Friends and family gathered in Conshohocken on Friday to honor a fallen hero who made the ultimate sacrifice. Plymouth Township Police Officer Brad Fox was shot and killed in the line of duty exactly one year ago. A fallen hero plaque dedication ceremony for Fox took place on the Schuylkill Trail, the same place where he was murdered.
During today’s ceremony, Officer Fox was awarded the District Attorney’s Medal of Honor, the highest honor to be bestowed upon a Montgomery County law enforcement officer.
“We dedicate this plaque that signifies honor, courage, commitment and service to our community,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. “It represents Brad Fox, the man who ran into the danger and risked his life so that we can be safe.”
Fox’s wife Lynsay accepted the award on her husband’s behalf. Fox is also survived by his daughter Kadence and his son, Brad Fox Jr., who was born seven months after his father's death.
On September 13, 2012, Officer Fox was chasing after Andrew Thomas on Schuylkill River Trail. Police say Thomas was fleeing from a hit-and-run accident. During the chase, Thomas ambushed Fox along with his K9 partner “Nick” and shot both of them. Fox died from his injuries. He would have turned 35 years old the next day. Thomas then shot and killed himself.
K9 Nick survived the shooting and has made a full recovery. He currently lives with Fox’s family.
Police later discovered that the gun Thomas used to murder Officer Fox was registered to Michael Henry of Mantua. Henry illegally straw purchased the gun and eight others for Thomas, who was on probation and not permitted to own any firearms. Henry was arrested for several firearms violations. He was convicted and sentenced in August to 20 to 66 years in prison.
Fox’s death led to the passage of the “Brad Fox Law” in October of 2012. The law restored a minimum five year sentence for anyone convicted of making repeat straw gun purchases in Pennsylvania.
Fox served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marines before joining the Plymouth Township Police Department in 2007. He completed tours of duty in Iraq in 2003 and 2006. He won several awards for his service, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and the Navy Presidential Unit Citation.
Officer Fox was also the 20th Montgomery County Officer to receive a fallen hero plaque. The Fallen Hero Program was founded in 2001 and originally honored police officers and firefighters in Philadelphia who were killed in the line of duty. The program was extended to Montgomery County in 2007.
“We will never ever forget Officer Fox or his ultimate sacrifice,” said Plymouth Township Police Chief Joseph Lawrence during Friday’s ceremony. “Brad will forever remain within the hearts of his family and friends and colleagues throughout the law enforcement community.”