Off-Duty Officer Killed, Police Lost ‘Shining Star'

UPDATE: Authorities confirmed the slain officer's identity Sunday. Sources told NBC10 he was shot with his own service revolver.

The Darby Borough police department lost a "shining star" Saturday when an off-duty officer was shot in his Delaware County home and died a short time later.

Darby Borough Police Chief Robert Smythe says one of his officers was shot at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in his Magnolia Street home in Darby Township.

He says the 26-year-old officer had worked for the department for four years.

"He was a shining star in the department," said Smythe. "An even tempered nice guy. Anybody that met him had a good word for him."

Responding officers found the wounded man in an upstairs bedroom. He was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was later pronounced dead. 

Neighbors told NBC10 police were called to the officer's home several times over the past few months for domestic disputes between him and his girlfriend. Authorities questioned a woman overnight, who was at the home when officers arrived, and was seen being taken away in handcuffs. Neighbors identified the woman as the officer's girlfriend.

"We lost a member of our family unnecessarily," Smythe said. The deceased man had worked for the department part-time and also was a firefighter in the borough of Yeadon, he said. Smythe added he planned to recommend him for full-time duty due to the quality of his work.

Authorities have yet to release the officer's name at the request of his mother, he said. Several family members have yet to be notified of his death.

Charges have not yet been filed, however, police said Saturday that homicide charges are forthcoming.

Richard Womack, Darby Township's police commissioner, said detectives processed the scene through the night and that a gun was recovered. 

The officer was also a volunteer firefighter with the Yeadon Fire Company for 10 years at the time of his death.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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