Authorities identified the man who killed a Plymouth Township police officer on Thursday as Andrew Charles Thomas, 44, who was on probation stemming from a forgery charge.
Thomas was found dead by officers with two gun shot wounds to the chest after he apparently shot and killed Officer Bradley Fox. A preliminary investigation by the Montgomery County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Thomas' death a suicide.
Fox was among the officers that responded to a three-car accident in the Conshohocken section of Plymouth Township. While directing traffic, officers said they saw a 2006 Infiniti SUV driving at a high rate of speed past stopped traffic and gave pursuit. While traveling on Conshohocken Road, the Infiniti struck another car and fled the scene, police said.
According to investigators, Fox followed the vehicle's path and found it abandoned on Ernest Station Road. Fox and his K-9 partner, Nick, began foot pursuit of the suspect and followed him into an industrial area near the Schuylkhill River Trail and radioed for backup.
By the time responding officers found Fox, he was laying on the grass between the trail and train tracks above the trail with a gunshot wound to the head. Officers set up a perimeter and, after an extensive search that included officers from multiple jurisdictions and canine search teams, police found Thomas.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Thomas was hiding on a hill above the train tracks obscured by tall weeds and fired at least four shots at Fox and his canine, striking Fox once in the head.
An autopsy concluded that Thomas suffered a direct contact wound to his chest and a second close contact wound to his chest.
Thomas had pleaded guilty to a forgery charge on May 22, stemming from an incident in 2005 in Upper Merion when he used $140 worth of counterfeit Acme gift certificates, Ferman said. Thomas failed to appear in court until he was finally apprehended by Lower Merion Police on May 21. One day later he pleaded guilty to forgery.