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Pennsylvania police launch manhunt for gunman, 22, who ‘shot a cop three times while HANDCUFFED’

A large-scale manhunt is under way in western Pennsylvania for a suspect who authorities say shot an officer multiple times outside a police station while handcuffed.

Surveillance video that was released by the Allegheny County Police Department on Monday captured the moment the armed suspect, identified as 22-year-old Koby Lee Francis, opened fire on McKeesport police officer Gerasimos Athans during his arrest on Sunday afternoon. 

In the brief recording, Athans is shown stepping out of his vehicle and walking around to retrieve Francis from the backseat to leas him inside the police station on Lysle Boulevard at around 4pm. 

As soon as the officer opens the rear passenger door, he staggers backward, having been struck by a bullet in the neck. 

Scroll down for video 

McKeesport police officer Gerasimos Athans was transporting suspect Koby Lee Francis in his patrol vehicle (pictured) to the local police station on Sunday afternoon following an arrest on a charge of violating a protection from abuse order

Video shows that as soon as the officer opens the rear passenger door, he is shot in the neck by the suspect in the backseat

Athans staggers from the car, having been struck by gunfire

Video shows that as soon as the officer opens the rear passenger door, he is shot in the neck by the suspect in the backseat 

This screenshot from surveillance video shows Francis repeatedly shooting officer Athans outside the McKeesport police station

This screenshot from surveillance video shows Francis repeatedly shooting officer Athans outside the McKeesport police station

As Athans goes around the front of the car to try and get away from Francis, the gunman jumps out of the backseat holding a gun in his restrained hands and continues to fire on the wounded officer, who despite his injures pulls out his gun and returns fire. 

The recording ends with Francis fleeing on foot away from the police station.  

According to the police, the incident began unfolding when Francis was picked up by the police on a charge of violating a protection from abuse order involving the mother of his young son, which had been issued just an hour earlier. 

TribLive reported, citing court records, that the 24-year-old woman with whom Francis has a five-month-old baby had applied for the protection order on December 10, and a judge granted it. 

Under the conditions of the PFA, Francis was barred from having contact with his son pending a hearing scheduled for next week, and he was also required to turn over all firearms.  

He was also ordered to turn over all firearms. 

Athans, a four-year veteran, suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder, but managed to return fire

Athans, a four-year veteran, suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder, but managed to return fire 

Francis is seen fleeing on foot, with his hands restrained in the front

Francis is seen fleeing on foot, with his hands restrained in the front 

Koby Francis, 22

Francis was last seen wearing a black hoodie, camo pants and black sneakers with white soles

Police are searching for Francis (left), who was last seen wearing a black hoodie, camo pants and black sneakers with white soles (right)

Officers were called to the 1500 block of Yester Square, where they found Francis seated in a purple 2005 Ford Escape XLT in front of the home where his child lives. The person who summoned the police said that Francis was trying to get to his baby in direct violation of the protection order.

At the time of his arrest, officers seized a .380-caliber handgun from Francis’ vehicle and searched him for additional weapons, but apparently failed to find any.

Francis was combative and attempted to kick out a window of the police car that was taking him to the McKeesport Police station on Lysle Boulevard, officials said.

‘Upon arrival at the station, the officer opened the door of the vehicle to remove the subject. When the door opened, Francis had a second firearm and shot the officer three times in the neck and torso,’ officials said.

Officer Athans returned fire but did not injure Francis. He radioed in he had been shot at 4.18pm.  

Francis fled on foot, still wearing the handcuffs. Although he had been restrained with his arms behind him, but video from the scene showed him fleeing with the handcuffs in front of him.

Authorities later recovered Francis’ silver .32-caliber revolver on the ground next to Athans’ vehicle.  

Gerasimos, 32, was in stable condition at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. He is a four-year veteran of the police force. 

Officers from multiple departments, US Marshals and the ATF are scouring the region in search of the wanted gunman

Officers from multiple departments, US Marshals and the ATF are scouring the region in search of the wanted gunman  

Police have placed checkpoints in the Pittsburgh area to try and apprehend Francis

Police have placed checkpoints in the Pittsburgh area to try and apprehend Francis 

Officers from multiple area police departments, sheriff’s deputies, SWAT team members, US Marshals and the ATF are all searching for the fugitive suspect. Police are also relying on drones, K-9 dogs and checkpoints to try and locate Francis.   

Francis is facing charges of criminal attempted homicide, escape, flight to avoid apprehension, aggravated assault, and violation of the Uniform Firearms Act.

He is described as six-foot-2, with brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, camouflage pants and black shoes with white soles. 

Anyone with information on Francis’ whereabouts is being asked to call 911, or the Allegheny County Police Tip Line at 1-833-255-8477. He is to be considered armed and dangerous. 


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