|Birth: ||Sep. 25, 1959|
|Death: ||May 8, 2006|
Police Officer Gary F. Skerski
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, May 8, 2006
Tour of Duty: 16 years
Badge Number: 7379
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Monday, May 8, 2006
Weapon Used: Shotgun
Suspect Info: Sentenced to life
Officer Gary Skerski was shot and killed while responding to an armed robbery call at Pat's Café, 4690 Castor Ave., near the intersection of Arrott and Adams Avenues.
A patron in the café had called 911 to report the robbery. Officer Skerski, who was working an overtime detail for the department, responded to the scene. As he approached the door he was confronted by the suspect, who was exiting the café. The suspect immediately opened fire, striking Officer Skerski in the neck, and then fled on foot.
Officer Skerski was transported to Temple University Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds just before midnight.
The suspect was apprehended eleven days later following a shootout with Philadelphia Police in which the suspect was shot twice. He plead guilty to Officer Skerski's murder in October 2007 and was sentenced to life in prison.
Officer Skerski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 16 years and was assigned to the 15th District. He is survived by his wife, Ann and children, Robert and Nicole.
1. Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc:
2. Social Security Death Index
Words of Cardinal Justin Rigali
Funeral of Officer Gary Skerski
Saint Adalbert Parish, Philadelphia
May 12, 2006
With love and support, all of us turn to the beloved family of Officer Gary Skerski—especially to Ann his wife, to Robert and Nicole his children, to Chester and Mary, his parents, to Jacqueline his sister, to Robert his brother.
In prayer, in reverence and in silence we stand by them and with them as they bear the burden of immense suffering. This suffering is now shared and borne by us all, but in special measure by all the members of the Philadelphia Police Department and all the Police who so faithfully and nobly express solidarity with one of their own—their brother Gary.
The whole civic community experiences the dreadful pain that afflicts his family, his comrades and his friends. This whole community has been struck by the act of violence that took Gary's life, but now this same community unites in prayer to God and in outgoing love for his family and all those left behind.
At this sacred moment there is renewed in our midst the determination of so many people of good will that violence will not have the last word, but that the love of God and neighbor expressed in generous service—as found in Gary's life—will be recognized as the basis of our society and the pattern of our lives.
Since, in God's plan there is no way that evil can definitively prevail, we lift our hearts today in hope, in loving support for the family and in resolute determination to build within our community a society of non-violence, peace and love.
Officer Skerski's family belongs to this Parish, this worshiping community of Saint Adalbert. It is a faith community that, amidst the trials and tribulations and anguish of human existence, place their hope in the living God. In this context of the Christian faith the final word of consolation is the proclamation that Jesus Christ the Son of God is risen from the dead and is our pledge of eternal life.
Meanwhile, the goodness of our God passes through the love and support which—all of us from different backgrounds and faiths—renew together to the beloved family of Officer Skerski, whom we commend to the infinite love of God our Father. Amen.
June 16, 2011: I visited Gary's grave and paid my respects. I was at the hospital after they brought him in there. I remember the sadness. I knew Gary since walking the footbeat in Center City. He always offered to pick up my paper and get us out of the rain. Later, I worked with him at the 15th. We had our differences and later I found out what was bugging him: he was trying to put his kids through good schools and was trying his best to make ends meet. That was why he was working the overtime detail the night he was killed. Gary, you did your best. Now may you rest in peace.
Plot: Section 5, Range 11, Lot 80
Created by: Researcher
Record added: Apr 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36584283