By Steve Tawa

By Steve Tawa and Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The State Trooper wounded in Tuesday’s chaotic, bullet-riddled highway pursuit of a fleeing suspect has been released from hospital care, in plenty of time to work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

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Thirty-one-year-old Trooper Patrick Casey remained in good spirits, from his arrival in the ER at Hahemann University Hospital until his discharge a day later.

“I’m feeling much better, thank you everybody. Let’s go Eagles.”

With that, he got into the family car and returned home.

Although the bullet did not hit any bones or vital organs, it is still lodged in his shoulder, to be removed at a later time

Captain James Raykovitz calls his Trooper “brave and courageous.” He says the gun used by the alleged shooter, a 17-year-old boy, was purchased originally in Texas in 2009 and then stolen in a burglary in Georgia in 2011.

There were four people in their car when troopers first pulled it over Tuesday morning on I-76 near University Avenue. The occupants filed out, at the troopers’ request, but one jumped back in the car and sped off.

That’s when Casey, responding as a backup unit, gave chase, that ended when the suspect allegedly fired at the trooper, with both cars in motion, on the Vine Street Expressway. Suddenly, the teen’s car rear-ended a bus, resulting in a fiery crash. Police say the teen allegedly jumped out and continued firing at Casey, who returned fire, along with two other troopers.

Raykovitz says most of the car was burned, so they don’t know what, if anything was in it.

“Obviously, he didn’t want to be stopped, but that’s still under investigation.”

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Fortunately, the bus driver, the only one aboard, escaped unhurt, as two District Attorney’s Office detectives, stopped in Vine Street traffic, suddenly became heroes, chasing down the accused gunman.

District Attorney Seth Williams, speaking out for the first time about his detectives brave actions, told CBS 3’s Walt Hunter, they ran after the teen and caught him after the initial shooting had stopped, not knowing if he might possess another weapon.

As to how the 17-year-old suspect allegedly got his hands on the .45 he’s accused of using to shoot Trooper Casey, State Police say, so far, they know it was stolen in a 2011 Georgia burglary after it was originally purchased in Texas in 2009.

Two others who were in the vehicle were released from custody and not charged, because they remained back at the original car stop.

Police are still looking for a third person – not as a suspect – but rather, to get his account of what happened.

None of the three passengers face any charges.

So far, police aren’t revealing or speculating on any possible motive, but, sources tell CBS 3 that the 17-year-old suspect had two prior arrests for possessing and selling drugs.

The suspect is being held behind bars on $3 million bail, awaiting a preliminary hearing.

 

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