Community comes together to mourn slain officer

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. - September 14, 2012

As the Plymouth Township Police Department mourns the loss of one of their own for the first time, it was especially gratifying for them to see so many people come out and mourn alongside them.

"The support of the community, this neighborhood, family and friends, all of the departments from around the area is just fantastic," said a family spokesperson.

Hundreds of officers, troopers, firefighters, paramedics, neighbors and friends showed up in front of Officer Brad Fox's home in Gilbertsville to show their support to the family.

There were kids waving American flags and many people wearing blue ribbons; many of them sad and tearful.

"It's nice to see the community come together," said Plymouth Township Police Chief Joseph Lawrence. "It's unfortunate that it has to be at a time like this. It's great for Brad's family."

Many of Officer Fox's fellow officers from Plymouth Township were also on hand.

Police Chaplain Rev. Dr. Nicholas Salios says this is a very difficult time for them.

"The officers have been grieving. They feel it very deeply. They are hurting; their wives are also hurting, and this is going to last for some time," said Rev. Salios.

There was one monumentally sad moment when the crowd tried to sing Happy Birthday to officer Fox who would have been 35-years-old Friday.

Officer Fox lost his life yesterday.

Police started chasing the suspect, 44-year-old Andrew Thomas of Bala Cynwyd, after he barreled through an accident scene in a stolen SUV.

Thomas eventually ditched the vehicle and took off on foot.

Officer Fox and his K-9 dog were searching for Thomas when he opened fire hitting Officer Fox in the head.

Police later found Thomas dead. Investigators say he had shot himself twice in the chest.

Action News has confirmed that Thomas was the main suspect in the disappearance of 35-year-old Maria Procopio of South Philadelphia.

She was never seen again after she left her job at QVC in West Chester in 1999.

The vigil came to an end with the crowd raising their candles up to the sky, while a police helicopter did a fly-over in tribute of Officer Fox and his family.

"When they were lifting their candles and assuring the family of their prayers and support, not only for today but for the rest of the days of their lives," Rev. Salios said.

Chief Joseph Lawrence says arrangements for Officer Fox are being finalized and could be made public as early as Saturday.

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