Hundreds attend funeral for Officer Fox (PHOTOS)

September 19, 2012 8:21:39 PM PDT
Family, friends, and fellow officers came together Wednesday to say goodbye to Officer Bradley Fox. The Plymouth Township cop was killed in the line of duty last week.

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The pews of Epiphany of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church in Plymouth Meeting were filled with brothers and sisters in blue along with family and friends.

Officer Fox's widow, Lynsay, wrote a note for the service, read by her sister, Brittany Mattozzi. It begins describing the couple's first date, in which Lynsay wrote "That night, when I got home, I sat down on my sister's bed, with her and my mom, and told them 'I met the guy I knew I'm going to marry.'"

The note described the couple's life together, reading "I couldn't wait to start a family with you because, even though you worried about what kind of father you were going to be, there was never a doubt in my mind that you would be the best dad you could be, because of the great role model you had to show you what a great father really was."

The officiant, the Rev. Edward Hallinan, said "It would be a tremendous disservice to this fallen hero not to celebrate his life, even though he died so early in a cowardly and violent manner."

Officer Fox lost his life in an ambush last Thursday while he was searching for the driver of a stolen SUV who drove the wrong way past an accident scene.

Fox was a seven year veteran of the Plymouth Township Police Department and lost his life one day before his 35th birthday.

"To the men and women of Plymouth Township, let's cry for our brother today then smile and celebrate the life of Brad tomorrow and forever," Plymouth Township Police Chief Joseph Lawrence said.

His family arrived by police escort as officers lined the streets in salute. Lynsay Fox held their young daughter as she walked into the church, pregnant with the couple's second child.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was among those in attendance. Before the service, he stopped to pet Fox's K9 partner, Nick, who was wounded in the same shooting.

"He was just a wonderful person, a good human being. It's just an awful loss. It's just a senseless loss," said Joanne Davis of Warminster.

"He served his country, he served the township, he served his family. He just did all the right things," said retired fire marshal Jack Fessler.

Following the funeral Fox, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a United States Marine, was laid to rest at the Washington Crossing Veterans Cemetery in Newtown with full military honors.

"People don't have any regard for life nowadays. It means nothing to them. And that is really sad," said Joe Cartin, the Commander of the American Legion in Warminster.

For the first public viewing on Tuesday night, people stood in line for hours in the pouring rain so they could pay their respects to Officer Fox and his family.

The notes of the bagpipe rang out across a silent crowd as the casket of Plymouth Township Officer Bradley Fox was carried into Epiphany of our Lord on Tuesday afternoon.

Law enforcement from across the region lined the streets as Officer Fox's K-9 partner, Nick, stood at Lynsay Fox's side ahead of the first public viewing.

Debbie Plunkett of Willow Grove tells us, "It's just so heartbreaking. He was so young. And this was so senseless."

Officer Fox was killed by Andrew Thomas. Police say Fox was looking for Thomas, who drove down the wrong lane past an accident scene in a stolen SUV. Investigators say Thomas ambushed Fox, firing four shots from a hidden elevated position along the Schuylkill River Trail.

Investigators say Thomas then turned the gun on himself. While Thomas had only one prior arrest for a minor theft, he had been the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fiancee, Maria Procopio, in 1999.

A number of tributes and vigils for Fox have been held in the days since his death. Most recently, on Monday night, hundreds of bikers rode from the Police Academy in Northeast Philadelphia to the Plymouth Township Police Department in his honor.

On Tuesday, Officer Fox's widow and other family members got a chance to see his patrol car, which was adorned with black bunting. At one point, she tenderly kissed the patrol car. Understandably, officials say, she and the rest of Fox's family are going through a very tough time.

A fund has been set up for Officer Fox's family and donations can be made to :

Fox Children's Fund
C/O Continental Bank
661 W. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

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