Pennsylvania State Trooper Shot As Bus Burns, Suspect Charged Attempt to Murder

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A Pennsylvania State Trooper was shot Tuesday morning as he tried to engage in a routine traffic stop. The chase ended when the suspect’s car smashed into the rear end of an empty school bus.

Giovanni Cotto, age 17, has been charged, as an adult, in the shooting of Pennsylvania State Trooper Patrick Casey, age 31. A police chase began shortly after 9:30 a.m. on I-76 at University Avenue after Pennsylvania State Troopers conducted a car stop on a vehicle for expired registration. Four males were inside the stopped vehicle, when one of the males, and alleged gunman, got in the vehicle and fled. During the police pursuit, the three suspects were left behind, and the driver of the fleeing car rammed a trooper’s vehicle on I-676. The suspect then began firing his weapon from the moving vehicle, but rammed into the rear-end of a school bus, which had no children on board. The suspect fled on foot while shooting at the trooper eight times through the windshield of the police vehicle. The trooper was hit once in the shoulder.

The suspect’s car caught fire, and the fire extended to the bus. Both vehicles were eventually totally involved in flames. The suspect, Giovanni Cotto, fled from the crash scene on foot toward the 21st Street overpass. He was caught in a foot pursuit a short time later by three state police troopers and two Philadelphia plainclothes officers.

Cotto charged charged with Criminal Attempt to Murder of the 1st Degree (3 Counts), Aggravated Assault (3 Counts), Assault of Law Enforcement Officer (3 Counts), Simple Assault (3 Counts), Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Possessing Instruments of Crime, and several Firearms Act Violations.

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