Suspect and deputy killed in shootout

Matthew Connor, 25, had taken an AK-47 from his father, a former Cherry Hill officer, the father said.

Posted: July 01, 2011

ALBANY, Pa. - A burglary suspect who fatally shot a Berks County sheriff's deputy trying to serve a warrant had left a suicide note days earlier and was dressed in camouflage gear when he was killed in a shootout with police, authorities said Thursday.

The 25-year-old suspect, Matthew Connor, and Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Pagerly died in the exchange of gunfire after police arrived at the Albany Township home of Connor's girlfriend Wednesday night with a warrant for his arrest, state police said.

Local and state police and U.S. marshals were trying to arrest Connor on burglary and weapons charges when he fled into the woods behind the house, according to state police. Pagerly, a member of the sheriff's K-9 team, was part of the search team, authorities said.

Connor raised an AK-47 assault rifle and refused orders to drop it, sparking the shootout, police said. Pagerly, 28, was airlifted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Connor was pronounced dead at the scene.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams said authorities were investigating how Connor got the firearm, since he was ineligible to have any because of his criminal record. Connor was adjudicated delinquent for a burglary in 2002, Adams said.

Connor's father, Maurice, told WFMZ-TV that the AK-47 belonged to him and that his son had taken it. Maurice Connor told the station that he was a retired police officer from Cherry Hill, N.J.

State Police Capt. Dante Orlandi said at a news conference Thursday that family members had found a suicide note from Matthew Connor on Monday and gave it to police. He declined to comment on what the note said.

Connor was wearing camouflage at the time of the shootout and had two guns on him, Orlandi said.

The Allentown Morning Call reported that police were trying to arrest Connor for allegedly shooting a handgun into the ground and threatening his family earlier in the week.

According to court documents, Connor previously threatened to provoke police into shooting him.

Pagerly was an Army veteran who served in Kosovo and Iraq before joining the Sheriff's Department in 2006, according to the department's website. Gov. Corbett ordered state flags at the Capitol and state facilities in Berks County lowered to half-staff in honor of Pagerly.

Albany Township is about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, near a 2,600-acre bird sanctuary.

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