Handcuffed man shoots officer 3 times with hidden gun, flees
MCKEESPORT, PA (AP) - A handcuffed man fired gun police unaware that he had hit an officer three times from a police vehicle before escaping a police station in western Pennsylvania.
Koby Lee Francis, 22, of McKeesport, was arrested after allegedly violating an abuse protection warrant prior to the Sunday afternoon firefight outside McKeesport Police Station, Allegheny County Police Commissioner Coleman McDonough said Monday. McKeesport is near Pittsburgh.
Officer Gerasimos Athans, 32, had wounds that were not life threatening and should be discharged from the hospital in the next few days, McDonough said. The police are looking for Francis and said he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Francis was provided with abuse protection on Sunday but is accused of quickly violating it twice, police said. He was arrested and a gun was found in his vehicle. Francis was described as combative and police initially said he stepped through a window of a police vehicle window. On Monday, police said the earlier report was wrong and he did not step out the window.
In a video released by the police, the officer is seen opening the passenger door of the police vehicle parked outside the train station and then stumbling back after police say he took fire from inside the vehicle. The video shows Frances getting out of the vehicle with hands tied in front of him and shooting the officer before he escapes.
McDonough said Francis "was apparently searched" when he was arrested, but "was able to hide a gun, and that was the gun he ... shot the officer with." Video confirmed he had been handcuffed behind his back, but he somehow managed to get his hands in front of him before escaping, McDonough said.
After he was shot, the officer "emptied" his gun as he returned fire, but there was no evidence that Francis was hit, McDonough said.
Francis was wanted for attempted murder, escape, escape to avoid anxiety, aggravated assault, and firearms. McDonough called the search for the fugitive, both locally and anywhere he might have fled, a "hands on deck" effort that needed help from the community.
"Obviously this was a tremendous act on his part," McDonough said to help us get him in. "
As for the officer, who has been on duty for four years, McDonough said, "We are delighted that he can spend Christmas with his family and not with a very tragic event."
That story has been corrected to determine that police now say previous reports that the suspect was thrown out of a police vehicle window were false.
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