The teenager charged in the murder of a Temple University police officer was previously charged with making threats to a school, according to a new report.
Miles Pfeffer, 18, allegedly shot Officer Christopher Fitzgerald after he responded to an incident near the university campus in Philadelphia on Saturday night.
He was taken into custody at his Buckingham Township home on Sunday and charged with the officer’s murder.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has since reported details about Pfeffer’s criminal past. He was arrested last year for sending anonymous threats that closed a high school in Bucks County, the newspaper reported, citing three unnamed law enforcement sources.
According to the Inquirer, Pfeffer was one of three students who authored threats targeted at Central Bucks South High School in Warrington, Pennsylvania.
One claimed that a homemade pipe bomb was going to detonate in a bathroom, while another warned that a student was planning to bring a gun into the building.
The threats, submitted through an online reporting tool, were received by administrators at the school shortly before 9 a.m. on November 16, 2021. They forced students to shelter in place before dismissing them early and a sweep of the school later found no weapons or explosive devices.
One of the teenagers was arrested days later, but Pfeffer and the other weren’t charged until months later.
Pfeffer was charged with terroristic threats and making false reports in February 2022. He was adjudicated delinquent and sentenced to one month’s probation, the Inquirer reported.
The law enforcement sources told the Inquirer that Pfeffer has had no major contact with police in Bucks County aside from that.
Angela Linch, a spokesperson for the Central Bucks School District, told Newsweek that Pfeffer attended school in the district until September 2019.
“He was a student at Holicong Middle School at that time,” Linch said. “For reasons of student privacy, the district is unable to provide any further detail.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said Pfeffer allegedly shot Fitzgerald in the head, killing him.
He’s also alleged to have attempted to rob Fitzgerald of his gun and to have gone through his pockets while the officer was lying on the ground after being shot, District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement on Sunday.
“Pfeffer is further alleged to have committed a carjacking a short time after, close to the location of the officer’s murder,” Krasner said.
He added: “Officer Fitzgerald’s life was ripped from him and his loved ones violently and senselessly. As the DA’s Homicide Unit begins the work of holding Miles Pfeffer accountable for his alleged crimes, our Victims Services team will also be extending loving support to Officer Fitzgerald’s family and loved ones.”
Pfeffer’s charges in connection with Fitzgerald’s killing include murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer, evading arrest, a Philadelphia police spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek. He is also facing robbery, carjacking and other related charges.