Two years ago Thursday, a parolee stood over Philadelphia police highway patrol Sgt. Patrick McDonald at 17th and Dauphin and fired his .45 caliber handgun until McDonald was dead. On the anniversary, hundreds of officers and friends joined McDonald’s mother, Patricia, and sister, Megan, at the Liberty Bell Youth Organization fields off Red Lion Road, within sight of the under-construction Pat McDonald Memorial Gym.
There, they honored the memory of a “quintessential Philly tough guy” with a fallen-officer plaque, and memorialized the April passing of his father, Larry, a 31-year Fire Department veteran who died unexpectedly in April while training for a fallen-
officers fundraising event.
“He is a hero and not just because of what happened that day, but also because of how he lived his life before that day,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, before turning his attention to the officer who killed the gunman at the scene. “Officer Rick Bowes did his job and we thank him for what he did that day. When you engage us, we will engage you. In many instances, it will be deadly.”
District Attorney Seth Williams said he expects McDonald’s sister Megan to join his office as an assistant district attorney upon law school graduation. With Thursday’s ceremony, the Hero Cop Plaque program has installed its 90th plaque for fallen officers.