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May 09, 2006
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Pa. officer killed responding to bar robbery

Go to Gary Skerski's Officer Down page

The Associated Press   

PHILADELPHIA— A police officer was fatally shot while responding to a robbery at a bar.

Officer Gary Skerski, 46, was heading to the rear entrance of the bar in the city's Frankford section about 10 p.m. Monday when a man came out and fired a shotgun blast, striking him in the neck.

"This officer didn't appear like he even had an opportunity to pull his weapon," Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

Skerski was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where he died about midnight.

Police were preparing to search a nearby cemetery Tuesday morning for possible evidence. No arrests were immediately made.

Skerski, a 16-year city police veteran, was working overtime for the department's Operation Safe Streets.

He is survived by his wife and two children, officials said.

"You have a wife and two young children, a brother, a mother, a father," said a shaken Mayor John Street, emerging from the hospital. "They're all up there now, and their lives will never be the same again."

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