EASTON, Pa. (AP) — State troopers were justified in using deadly force in a roadside confrontation in which a trooper was shot and critically injured, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced at a news conference that the troopers were justified when they shot at Daniel Clary during the Nov. 7 struggle on the right lane of busy Route 33, in Plainfield Township, north of Philadelphia, following a traffic stop.
Morganelli said video shows Clary breaking away from the troopers and reaching into his car, and the suspect then "comes out shooting" at the troopers, whom the prosecutor called "sitting ducks." He said the troopers exercised restraint during the violent encounter, using a stun device twice and only opening fire as a last resort.
"I'm very proud of how they operated in this case," Morganelli said. "They followed their training."
Cpl. Seth Kelly, a 13-year veteran, was helping another trooper arrest Clary, whom they suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio said earlier in the week. Kelly was shot in his neck, shoulder area and leg during the close-quarters fight. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, but was later upgraded to stable condition.
The gravely wounded Kelly had the presence of mind to grab the tourniquet he wore on his service belt and apply it to his bleeding leg, "more than likely saving his own life," said D'Ambrosio.
Clary, 22, was hospitalized for five days and then taken to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $1 million bail on attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and other charges.