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Man makes court appearance after being arrested, charged with shooting McKeesport police officer

PITTSBURGH — The man accused of shooting a local police officer and fleeing the state appeared virtually before an Allegheny County judge on Friday.

All charges were held against Koby Francis, 22, who led officers on a manhunt across state lines after allegedly firing two shots at a McKeesport cop back in December.

The incident was caught on camera outside of the police station, where Francis was taken after allegedly violating a protection from abuse order twice that afternoon. The violations were reported moments after Francis was served with the PFA.

Channel 11′s Liz Kilmer was the only television reporter in the courtroom during the preliminary hearing, where she heard testimony from three investigators, including the injured officer, Gerasimos “Gerry” Athans.

Athans said one of the two rounds he was hit with remains lodged in his back, just inches from his spinal cord. He showed the court where another bullet went through his neck.

“I really think this case serves to show the danger that police face in the performance of their duty,” said Ilan Zur, Deputy District Attorney. “Officer Athans was just trying to help some people, he responded to a 911 call in which Mr. Francis, the defendant, was violating a protection from abuse order.”

According to investigators, Francis was served with the PFA at the McKeesport police station shortly before 3 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 20. The order was filed on behalf of his four-month-old child and the child’s mother.

Within minutes, police say, Francis allegedly violated that order at two separate locations, first at Harrison Village and then Yester Square.

At the latter location, he was located inside of a purple Ford Escape and became combative before being taken into custody, per police.

Cops claim a gun was recovered from the vehicle, and a second was somehow concealed on his person as he was handcuffed.

Athans transported Francis back to the police station. In court, the officer testified that the suspect was “calm” during the ride.

Video surveillance released by county investigators and played in court Friday shows Athans step out of his patrol vehicle, and open the rear passenger door. He is immediately fired upon and runs to the front of his vehicle, returning fire.

Francis is seen fleeing, ultimately ditching the gun. He is a person not to possess, however an investigator testified that neither weapon seems to have been stolen.

He was arrested peacefully days later in West Virginia, and eventually extradited to the Allegheny County Jail.

He remains there now, awaiting a preliminary arraignment scheduled for April 1st.

The public defender representing Francis had no comment after the hearing.

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“What I’ve seen over the course of my career is that not everything needs to be criminalized,” he said. “I’ve seen way too much come to the courthouse that should be resolved in other means."