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Shooting Suspect Arrested in W. Va.

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
December 29, 2020
Posted in: Crime and Police News

(This is a developing story and will be updated)

A McKeesport man charged with shooting and wounding a city police officer has been arrested in West Virginia.

Allegheny County police on Tuesday evening reported that Koby Lee Francis, 22, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals at an apartment complex in Clarksburg, about two hours south of Pittsburgh.

Francis is being held at the North Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Greenwood, W.Va., to await extradition back to Pittsburgh.

Francis is charged by county police with aggravated assault, attempted homicide, unlawful possession of a firearm, flight to avoid apprehension and escape, in relation to the Dec. 20 shooting of McKeesport police Officer Jerry Athans, 32.

Francis shot Athans outside the Public Safety Building following his arrest for allegedly violating a protection from abuse order. Athans was flown to UPMC Presbyterian hospital, Oakland, after being stuck in the neck and torso, officials said.

Francis can be seen running from the scene, still handcuffed, in surveillance video released by county police.

His escape sparked a city-wide manhunt, including house to house searches and roadblocks on major arteries into and out of McKeesport.

Four other people were charged last week with aiding Francis’ escape.

County police Lt. Venerando Costa said Francis’ arrest was carried out by the Northern Office of the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force and is the result of a multi-agency investigation that included McKeesport police, Allegheny County police, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Pittsburgh police, West Virginia State Police, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the FBI.

Also assisting in the arrest were the Harrison County, W.Va., Sheriff’s Office, Clarksburg Police Department and Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Costa said.

Originally published December 29, 2020.

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