DA: Fox's Killer 'Ambushed' Him
Suspect Andrew Charles Thomas' death was ruled a suicide; Thomas was on probation after pleading guilty to forgery in May.
Montgomery County authorities on Friday afternoon identified Andrew Charles Thomas, 44, as the man who shot and killed Plymouth Township police officer Bradley Fox on Thursday evening.
Thomas was on probation after pleading guilty to forgery charges in May, authorities said.
An examination by Dr. Erica Williams of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office found that Thomas died from two "close contact" gunshot wounds to the chest. His death was ruled a suicide.
According to the Montgomery County District Attorney's office, Thomas' forgery charge resulted from a 2005 incident in Upper Merion when he used $140.00 worth of counterfeit Acme gift certificates. He remained at large for seven years until being taken into custody on May 21, authorities said. Thomas pleaded guilty the next day.
At 5:42 p.m. on Thursday, authorities said, Thomas sped by an accident scene on Ridge Pike in the Conshohocken section of Plymouth in a silver 2006 Infiniti SUV. Officer Fox gave chase, assisted by unspecified backup units, and discovered that Thomas had turned onto Conshohocken Road and struck another vehicle.
Another motorist informed Fox that Thomas had then driven onto Ernest Station Road. Fox then began a foot pursuit with his K9 partner, Nick, and requested backup; he followed Thomas into the industrial area near the Schuylkill River Trail.
Authorities said a preliminary investigation indicated that Thomas was hiding on a hill above the nearby Norfolk Southern railroad tracks and that he ambushed Fox by firing at least four shots from a location where Fox could not see him.
When additional units arrived, they found Fox on the grass between the trail and the railroad tracks, authorities said. He had been shot in the head.
Thomas' body was found later with the assistance of multiple police agencies and canine search teams, authorities said. The Infiniti SUV he had been driving was allegedly stolen.
Nick, Fox's K9 partner, sustained a graze bullet wound and is receiving veterinary care.