A memorial was held for a Philadelphia Police officer Sunday night at the same café where he was shot and killed exactly ten years ago.
Around 150 officers, family members and friends gathered outside Pat’s Café at Castor Avenue and Arrott Street around 7 p.m. to honor Officer Gary Skerski. A bugle was played in Skerski’s memory and roses were dropped on a plaque dedicated to him outside the café.
On May 6, 2006, around 10 p.m., Officer Skerski and other officers responded to a report of an armed robbery in progress at the café. As Skerski approached the door he was met by the suspect who was armed with a shotgun. The suspect, later identified as Solomon Montgomery, opened fire and shot Skerski in the neck. The 16-year veteran assigned to the 15th District was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he later died from his injuries. He was 46-years-old and survived by a wife and two children.
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Montgomery, who was also shot twice during the incident, was apprehended 11 days later. He pleaded guilty to Skerski’s murder in October, 2007 and was sentenced to life in prison.