A former Delaware County police officer accused of gunning down his ex-girlfriend was due in court Wednesday but the hearing was continued.
Stephen Rozniakowski, a former officer with the Colwyn Borough Police Department, wore a bulletproof vest when he kicked down the door of Valerie Morrow’s Glenolden home on Dec. 15 and began firing, according to investigators. The shooting came just three hours after police served Rozniakowski with an court order to stay away from Morrow, and days before he was due in court in a separate stalking case.
“If you find me dead, he did it.”
That’s what Morrow told NBC10 Investigative reporter Harry Hairston just hours before she died.
Rozniakowski faces a slew of charges including first-degree murder, attempted homicide, aggravated assault, burglary and weapons counts. He was set to go before a Delaware County judge for a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning but that hearing was continued, according to court records.
Authorities said the 32-year-old disgraced officer had plans to not only gun down Morrow but her husband and daughter as well.
“He went there to execute the entire family, in my opinion. I have no doubt about that,” said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.
Police said Rozniakowski shot and killed Morrow then shot Morrow’s teenage daughter in the arm before Morrow's husband Thomas Morrow, an off-duty Morton officer, returned fire striking Rozniakowski.
After the shooting, Rozniakowski called in the shooting on his police-issued radio.
“I am the actor,” he told dispatchers.
Rozniakowski was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in critical but stable condition, according to officials.
Before the deadly shooting, Rozniakowski called the Colwyn Borough Police Department to announce his resignation, investigators said.
About three hours before the shooting, Norwood Police served the suspect with an emergency court order to stay away from Morrow. At the time they took away his service weapon and asked if he had any other weapons but Whelan said Rozniakowski told them he didn’t.
He used a private weapon in the attack, said police.
Whelan said he will consider pushing for the death penalty when Rozniakowski goes on trial.
Before she died, Morrow reached out to Hairston because he previously covered past stalking allegations against Rozniakowski.
Morrow told Hairston she dated Rozniakowski for months before ending the relationship in August to reunite with her husband. In the weeks and months that followed, she said Rozniakowski called and texted her repeatedly with threatening messages.
Hairston put a spotlight on Rozniakowski earlier this year when the officer was placed on "administrative leave" after his former fiancee filed a protection from abuse order against him.
Plymouth Township Police arrested Rozniakowski and charged him with 25 counts of stalking and 50 counts of harassment for allegedly contacting his former fiancee with repeated phone and text messages.
The suspect was scheduled to appear last week on those charges.