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Search Continues for Suspect in Officer’s Shooting

ATF, Pittsburgh car dealer offering rewards

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
December 23, 2020
Posted in: Crime and Police News

The search continues for a man accused of shooting a McKeesport police officer on Sunday afternoon.

On Wednesday, a federal agency and a Pittsburgh-area business owner both announced that they would offer rewards for information leading to the apprehension of Koby Lee Francis, 22, of McKeesport.

Francis is accused of shooting city police Officer Gerasimos “Jerry” Athans, 32, on Fourth Avenue outside the Public Safety Building and then fleeing the scene, still handcuffed from an earlier arrest.

He has been charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, escape, flight to avoid apprehension and violating the uniform firearms act.

Police have urged Francis to surrender himself to authorities.

Athans was flown to UPMC Presbyterian hospital, Oakland. Officials said he was struck three times in the neck and torso. He is reportedly now recovering at home.

A $10,000 reward is being offered by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and a separate $5,000 reward has been put up by Richard Bazzy, owner of Shults Ford.

“We appeal to members of the community to help us to take Koby Francis safely into custody,” Allegheny County police Supt. Coleman McDonough said in a prepared release.

Multiple agencies, including local, county, state and federal law-enforcement, are involved in the search for Francis, who is considered armed and dangerous.

On Tuesday night, residents on Sumac and Fremont streets in the city reported police officers were combing the neighborhood with K-9 search dogs.

Francis is described as a Black male, 6-feet-2-inches tall with a thin build, black hair and black eyes. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, camouflage pants and black shoes with white soles.

Police are asking anyone who sees him to call 9-1-1.

Anyone with information about Francis’ whereabouts also can contact the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-255-8477. Callers may remain anonymous.

Originally published December 23, 2020.

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