"We are so proud as a family that he did the job that he always wanted to do. We know that and he did it exceptionally well."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two people who loved Temple University police officer Christopher Fitzgerald the most, his wife and his father, spoke to Action News about their tragic loss.
"My husband was a very good man and a very good father. A very great son, a very good brother and it's a shame he was just taken like he was an animal in the street," said Ofc. Fitzgerald's wife Marissa, through tears.
Ofc. Fitzgerald was fatally shot on Saturday night while trying to stop a robbery at North 17th Street and West Montgomery Avenue in North Philadelphia. He was 31 years old.
Just like his father and mother, Christopher chose a career in law enforcement.
"The Temple Police Department and the City of Philadelphia lost someone that was a constant contributor and someone who had a bright future," said his father, Dr. Joel Fitzgerald. "Officer Fitzgerald was someone Philadelphia could be proud of."
They say Christopher, a father of five, loved his work.
"We are so proud as a family that he did the job that he always wanted to do. We know that, and he did it exceptionally well," Joel said.
They said Christopher truly wanted to change the trajectory of the increasing violence in Philadelphia, especially over the last few years.
"Philadelphia lost a champion. They lost somebody who you want working in this city to try to help correct some of the ills that we see," Joel said.
But now, even though Christopher is physically gone, his family vows to continue his work.
"There needs to be a significant investment in ensuring this city is safe, and ensuring that officers are safe, and ensuring every resident can come out of the house," Joel said.
They also say Christopher's spirit will live on in the Philadelphia community forever.
"He is still here with each and everyone one of us. He's going to be here protecting and looking over each Temple student," Joel said.
Miles Pfeffer, 18, is charged with murder in Officer Fitzgerald's death and is being held in Philadelphia's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility without bail.
After Pfeffer allegedly shot Officer Fitzgerald, authorities say Pfeffer stood over the officer and shot him several more times in the head while he was on the ground.
Pfeffer is also accused of trying to rob Fitzgerald of his service weapon but was unsuccessful.
Pfeffer was taken into custody Sunday morning at his home on Quarry Road in Buckingham Township, Bucks County.
"I will tell you that our family is and will not be satisfied until everyone involved is brought to justice," Joel Fitzgerald said.
According to FOP Lodge #5, a viewing for Fitzgerald will be held on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the John F. Givnish Funeral Home on Academy Road.
There will also be a second viewing on Friday morning from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
The funeral service will be held immediately after that viewing.
Fitzgerald will be laid to rest at the Forest Hills Cemetery on Byberry Road in Huntingdon Valley.