By Daniel Kelley
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - An investigation is underway into the death of a 26-year-old Pennsylvania trooper who was shot and killed at a training facility in suburban Philadelphia, the state police commissioner said on Wednesday.
Trooper David Kedra, a two-year veteran for the force, died from a gunshot wound to the chest on Tuesday afternoon. Police have not disclosed who was holding the gun when the shooting occurred, and they have released no further information about the incident.
“He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” said Frank Noonan, the state police commissioner.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett ordered flags to be flown at half staff at the state capitol in Harrisburg and in Montgomery County, where the shooting occurred.
Kedra's death comes at a particularly hard time for the state police. Last month, one trooper was killed and another wounded in what police say was an ambush-style attack at a state police barracks in Blooming Grove. A manhunt for the suspect, Eric Frein, has been underway for nearly three weeks.
Training accidents involving firearms are exceedingly rare among police. According to the FBI, 667 police officers died in accidents between 2003 and 2012. Most of them involved motor vehicles, but 31 involved firearms and three of those were accidents at training facilities.
(Reporting by Daniel Kelley; Writing by Frank McGurty; Editing by Eric Beech)