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November 25, 2015

Trooper Casey released from hospital one day after being shot

17-year-old allegedly led officer on chase and crashed into school bus before opening fire on I-676

Shootings Police
11252015_GiovanniCotto @NBCPhiladelphia/Twitter

A screen capture from a video shows 17-year-old Giovanni Cotto being escorted by police. Cotto is charged with shooting Trooper Patrick R. Casey following a pursuit in Center City on Nov. 24, 2015.

The Pennsylvania state trooper wounded during Tuesday's shootout on the Vine Street Expressway has left the hospital, NBC10 reported Wednesday afternoon.

As he left Hahnemann University Hospital, Trooper Patrick R. Casey said he was grateful for the support and even showed support for the Philadelphia Eagles, who play the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving:

"I'm feeling all right. I just want to thank everybody for all the prayers and support ... Happy to be going home for Thanksgiving, and let's go Eagles."

Giovanni Cotto, 17, is charged with shooting and injuring Casey. He has been arraigned on charges and his bail was set at $3 million, according to 6ABC.com and other reports Wednesday morning.

Cotto as an adult in connection with Tuesday's altercation that began with a police pursuit on the Schuylkill and Vine Street expressways and ended in a fiery crash with a school bus.

During the incident, Cotto allegedly fired shots at Trooper Patrick R. Casey (pictured below), striking the officer once in the shoulder, police said. Casey was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for treatment.

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Cotto has been charged with three counts of each of the following offenses: attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer and simple assault. He is also charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, reckless endangerment and weapons offenses.

State police on Tuesday said the events leading to Casey being shot began with a traffic stop for an expired registration on I-76 near University City.

The occupants of the vehicle had been removed and one person placed in handcuffs when Cotto allegedly jumped back in the sedan and took off, heading west on the Schuylkill Expressway, then east on the Vine Street Expressway.

Casey, 31, who had been called to the scene as backup, chased after the sedan in his police cruiser. At one point during the pursuit, Casey attempted to maneuver his vehicle to try to box in the driver's car. 

"As (Casey) was passing to do that, that's when he took fire," Capt. James K. Raykovitz, commanding officer of the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Philadelphia, said Tuesday.

The suspect allegedly fired several times at Casey's vehicle before the sedan crashed into the back of a school bus and burst into flames. The alleged shooter then exited his vehicle and continued to fire at Casey's vehicle, Raykovitz said.

Casey returned fire from inside his vehicle, discharging his weapon through the windshield, according to Raykovitz. Two other officers responding to the scene also returned fire.

The trooper sustained a gunshot wound to his shoulder during the exchange, police said. Cotto was captured after he tried to run westbound on I-676 following the shooting, police said. 

Tuesday night, Cotto's father told NBC10, "I love (Giovanni) ... It's my son, I love him with all my heart. It's my son! I've gotta be there for my son! No matter what happens, I've gotta be there for my son!"


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