Berks Co. deputy sheriff killed in shootout

June 30, 2011 6:07:06 PM PDT
Fire trucks outside the Berks County Services Center created an archway in tribute to Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the 28-year-old officer was killed in the line of duty.

Action News has learned that Pagerly and his wife were expecting their first child.

Pagerly died from gunshot wounds he suffered during a shootout with a burglary suspect armed with an AK 47.

It all started when a joint detail of state troopers, U.S. Marshals and county deputy sheriffs went to a house on Pine Swamp Road in Albany Township at about 6:30 Wednesday night to serve a warrant on 25-year-old Matthew Connor.

The warrant was for burglary, criminal trespass, terroristic threats, and simple assault among other charges, stemming from an incident Monday. According to the Morning Call of Allentown, Connor allegedly shot a handgun into the ground and threatened his family.

It was after that incident, police say Connor's father had handed authorities a suicide note from his son.

"We were anticipating that he had emotional problems because of the letter that he wrote," Pennsylvania State Police Captain Dante Orlandi said.

While talking to Connor's girlfriend, police say Connor ran out of the back of the house and into the woods.

Members of the detail pursued Connor, with Deputy Pagerly at the lead.

According to police, Pagerly came up over the top of a hill when Connor allegedly rose up, armed with an AK-47.

"The subject was in complete camouflage including his face had a camouflage mask, his hands at camouflage gloves, and he was armed with two guns, two knives, and large capacity magazines" Captain Orlandi said.

Police say Connor refused an order to drop the gun and opened fire. An exchange of gunfire ensued. During the exchange, Connor was killed and Pagerly was gravely wounded.

He was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to court documents, Connor had previously threatened to provoke police into shooting him.

Connor's father told WFMZ-TV the AK-47 belonged to him and his son had taken it. Maurice Connor told the station he is a retired police officer from Cherry Hill, N.J.

Pagerly was an Army veteran who served in Kosovo and Iraq before joining the county sheriff's department in 2006, according to the department's website. Gov. Tom Corbett ordered state flags at the Capitol and state facilities in Berks County lowered to half-staff in honor of Pagerly.

Albany Township is about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, near a 2,600-acre bird sanctuary.


Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.