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Walking in memory of Sgt. Fitzgerald

Franklin Towne Charter High School last week hosted the Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald Memorial Mile Walk in memory of the slain Temple University police officer.

The school paid tribute to Fitzgerald, a 2009 Franklin Towne graduate who was shot to death in North Philadelphia in February 2023, with a ceremony in the gym and a walk throughout the Frankford Arsenal Campus.

Everyone wore T-shirts memorializing Fitzgerald, who was 31 when he died.

Among those in attendance were representatives of the Temple Police Department, the 15th Police District and Swagga House Run Club.

Fitzgerald was on the track and field team at Towne and enjoyed running.

Josh Perez, an inspector in the sheriff’s office and co-founder of Swagga House, said runners chant, “Live like Chris,” at the end of every event.

Marissa Fitzgerald, the slain sergeant’s widow and a member of the Towne board, was presented with a portrait of her husband created by a community arts student.

“Change needs to happen in this city,” Fitzgerald said of gun violence.

Fitzgerald was tearful in her remarks but was heartened to see bleachers full of Towne students paying tribute to her husband.

“I have a smile on my face,” she said.

Fitzgerald said she takes every opportunity to keep her husband’s name alive.

“It will never die as long as I live,” she said.

Temple’s Department of Public Safety showed a video of people speaking of their memories of Fitzgerald.

Towne CEO Brianna O’Donnell, who taught Fitzgerald and remembers his nice smile, called for a moment of silence for Fitzgerald and Isaiah Pagan, a 2022 graduate of the school and baseball player who was killed in December in a shooting inside a mini-mart on the 5200 block of Oxford Ave.

Last year, Franklin Towne established the Sgt. Christopher D. Fitzgerald Scholarship awarded to a member of the graduating class who has committed to Temple University and exemplifies distinguished service to both school and community. ••

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