Pursuit leads to fiery crash, shooting of trooper on I-676 in Center City

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
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Action News reporter John Rawlins reports on the aftermath of Tuesday morning's chase, shootout and crash.

CENTER CITY -- A Pennsylvania state trooper has been hospitalized after being shot in an altercation on I-676 in Center City Philadelphia.

The incident began around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on I-76 at University Avenue where Pennsylvania state troopers conducted a car stop on a vehicle for expired registration.

There were four males inside the car, all of whom were removed from the vehicle by police. One of the men was placed in handcuffs and put into the backseat of the police cruiser, and two others were sitting on a jersey barrier, when the fourth suspect got back into the car and suddenly took off.

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Troopers Patrick R. Casey, Williams Evans and Timothy Jeter initiated a pursuit of the suspect westbound on I-76, then eastbound on I-676. Trooper Casey got in front of the suspect in an attempt to conduct a controlled stop. However, the suspect rammed the trooper's vehicle.

Police say the suspect then maneuvered to be alongside the trooper, at which the suspect began firing from his car.

The suspect's vehicle then slammed into the rear of a school bus on the highway.

The suspect got out and continued to fire on the pursuing state troopers. Trooper Casey immediately began to return fire, but during the exchange he was struck once in the shoulder.

The suspects' vehicle then caught fire, and the flames spread onto the bus, soon consuming both vehicles.

Luckily, there were no students on board the bus at the time of the crash, and the bus driver was reportedly uninjured.

Other troopers rushed Casey to Hahnemann University Hospital where he is currently listed in good condition.

Casey, 31, is expected to make a full recovery.

Two suspects are now in police custody, including the alleged shooter - said to be a juvenile. But police are looking for two others, who fled the scene of the initial traffic stop.

Upon word of the state trooper's injuries, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement:

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Pennsylvania State Police Trooper shot on Interstate 676 in the line of duty today. I received an update from Acting Commissioner Blocker a short time ago and I am relieved to learn that the trooper is in stable condition at a hospital in Philadelphia. Our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line each day to protect us, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. The shooter was swiftly taken into custody by the Pennsylvania State Police. No further details are available at this time."

I-676 was shutdown for several hours while crews worked to clear the scene. The highway has since reopened.