Pennsylvania State Trooper David Kedra, 26, of Rhawnhurst, who died after a firing range accident this week, was remembered Wednesday as deeply dedicated to law enforcement by his former teachers at Temple University.
"If there's a little consolation to this horrible thing, it's that he died doing something he loved," said Temple University Prof. Joseph Alkus of the Department of Criminal Justice.
Alkus said he regularly invites members of law enforcement to speak to his class and Kedra visited on Monday.
"Every time they come in, I ask them, 'What's the best day and the worst day that they've had?'" Alkus recalled. "Dave said, 'Every day is the best because I love being a trooper.'"
Kedra, 26, leaves behind a fiancee with whom he recently bought a home in Pottstown, a sister, two brothers and his parents.
Kedra was fatally wounded around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday during a training exercise when a firearm accidentally discharged. The shooting is still under investigation.
His death closely follows the murder of Corporal Bryon Dickson, 38, who was fatally shot on Sept. 12 outside a barracks in the Poconos.
He is believed to have been slain by Eric Frein, currently the subject of a massive manhunt throughout the region.
Alkus said that Kedra expected to be assigned to the manhunt this coming weekend.
"He always wanted to be a state trooper," said Temple Prof. Tara Tripp, who taught Kedra every year while he was at Temple. "He was very quiet but he was extremely intelligent."
Tripp said she often chatted with Kedra on the train into the city from Northeast Philly, and also regularly saw him at a CVS in that area where he worked while studying at college.
"To see him mature from freshman year to what I saw on Monday — my heart was overwhelmed with pride to see what he had evolved into," Tripp said. "It's just a terrible loss for everybody involved."
Kedra, 26, graduated from Roman Catholic High School in 2006. He graduated Temple with a degree in Criminal Justice in 2010 and a GPA of 3.71.
He joined the Pennsylvania State Police in June 2012.
He was assigned to Troop K, Skippack station at the time of his death.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.