SCHWENKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania state trooper killed Tuesday during a firearms training exercise in suburban Philadelphia was fatally wounded when another trooper's gun accidentally discharged, Capt. James Raykovitz announced Wednesday afternoon.
"Preliminary evidence indicates that Trooper (David) Kedra was struck by a bullet accidentally discharged by another member of the Pennsylvania State Police," Raykovitz said in a news release. "However, more specific information regarding the investigation will not be released at this time."
State police did not disclose any further information on the accident, which the agency is investigating with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. District Attorney Risa Ferman did not return a message about the case.
Kedra, 26, was shot in the chest Tuesday during a yearly training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex in Plymouth Meeting. He was airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Kedra is the second trooper to be fatally shot this month following Cpl. Bryon Dickson's death in an ambush on Sept. 12.
A 2010 graduate of Temple University, Kedra was originally from northeast Philadelphia but recently moved to Chester County, Lt. James Fisher said during a news conference outside the Skippack barracks Wednesday morning. He enlisted in the state police in June 2012 and was assigned to the Skippack barracks in January 2013 following his graduation from the academy.
Colleagues said Kedra was an enthusiastic and motivated trooper who knew he wanted to get into law enforcement.
"He was extremely proud to be a Pennsylvania state trooper and he showed it," said Trooper Derik Frymire, who worked on Kedra's squad. "He wanted to see everything, he wanted to be a part of everything, he wanted to learn everything and those kind of qualities make an outstanding patrol trooper."
Joe Alkus, a criminal justice professor at Temple, said his former student had visited to speak at one of his introductory classes. Alkus recalled once asking Kedra what he thought was the best day of his career.
"He says, 'Every day is my best day because I love being a trooper,'" Alkus said.
State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said it was with "an extremely heavy heart and deep sorrow" that he announced the death of Kedra, the 96th member of the state police to be killed in the line of duty.
"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," Noonan said.
Gov. Tom Corbett ordered Pennsylvania flags to fly at half-staff at the state Capitol and in Montgomery County.
Associated Press writer Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this story.