Police Officer Bradley Fox's life was full of promise.
His wife was pregnant with a second child.
Fox, a Marine veteran of two tours in Iraq, had become a K-9 officer this year.
But on Thursday night, a day shy of his 35th birthday, Fox was dead, fatally wounded in a confrontation with a hit-and-run suspect in Plymouth Township. "He was shot in the head," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.
The suspect also was dead.
Fox, a seven-year veteran of the force who lived in Gilbertsville, was the first Plymouth Township police officer killed in the line of duty, Ferman said. "Plymouth Township police lost a hero this evening," Ferman said during a news conference with township Police Chief Joseph Lawrence.
Ferman declined to identify the suspect or discuss details of the killing, which occurred in the area of Conshohocken and Ernest Station Roads, calling it an ongoing investigation.
"There are just no words that can begin to express the magnitude of this tragedy for Officer Fox, his family, his wife, and his beautiful little girl," Ferman said. "This was the day we prayed would never come."
Fox's police dog, Nick, also was shot but survived.
"This was a senseless, senseless act for a car accident," the police chief said. "We lost an incredible human being tonight."
"When he volunteered to go back [to Iraq] the second time, he didn't even tell his family he volunteered. He was that kind of a man," Ferman said.
"Officer Fox had an extraordinarily bright future," Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said.
"His family should know the community is mourning with them."
Plymouth Township has nearly four dozen full-time officers, serving a community of 16,000, according to the township police website.