Police: Suspect in officer shooting nabbed in West Virginia

PITTSBURGH — A man who police say was handcuffed when he allegedly shot a Pennsylvania police officer three times with a gun police didn’t know he had was captured in West Virginia after more than a week on the run, authorities said.

Koby Lee Francis, 22, of McKeesport was taken into custody by federal marshals shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Allegheny County police said in a release. He will be held at the North Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Doddridge County while awaiting extradition.

Francis is charged with aggravated assault, criminal attempt homicide, person not to possess a firearm, flight to avoid apprehension trial or punishment, and escape in the shooting. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had a lawyer to comment on his behalf.

Authorities said Officer Gerasimos Athans, 32, who has been on the McKeesport force for four years, had wounds that weren’t life-threatening.

Authorities said earlier that Francis had been arrested after allegedly violating a protection from abuse order before the Dec. 20 gunfire outside the police station in McKeesport, which is located near Pittsburgh.

Francis was accused of having violated the protection from abuse order twice soon after it was served. He was arrested and a pistol was found in his vehicle.

On a video released by police, the officer is seen opening the passenger side door of the police vehicle parked outside the station and then staggering back after police said he took fire from within the vehicle. The video shows Francis then emerging from the vehicle with hands handcuffed in front of him and firing at the officer before fleeing.

Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough told reporters last week that Francis “was searched, obviously” when he was arrested but “was able to secrete a weapon and that was the weapon he used … to shoot (the officer).” Video confirmed that he had been handcuffed with his hands in back of him, but he somehow managed to get his hands in front of him before his escape, McDonough said.

After he was shot, the officer “emptied his weapon” in returning fire, but there was no evidence Francis was hit, McDonough said.

The Associated Press