A teenager charged with attempted murder in Tuesday's wounding of a state trooper on the Vine Street Expressway was arraigned Wednesday, and his bail was set at $3 million.
Giovanni Cotto, 17, also charged with aggravated assault, assaulting a law enforcement officer, and related offenses, is accused of shooting at the trooper during the violent confrontation. He remained in custody Wednesday.
Trooper Patrick Casey, 31, whose gunshot wound to the left shoulder did not involve any bones or vital organs, was released from Hahnemann University Hospital on Wednesday morning.
He told reporters that he was grateful for the prayers and support he received from Philadelphians.
In an interview at his Kensington home on Wednesday afternoon, Hector Cotto said he was having trouble wrapping his head around the crime his youngest son is accused of committing.
He said that the two were close - "I give him everything I can" - and that his son had seemed to be on a better track after being released from juvenile detention in June for heroin possession.
Cotto said his son, who lives with his mother in North Philadelphia, had gotten a job at an auto body store and was attending his 11th-grade classes.
He said he knew nothing of the white car his son allegedly drove down I-676 on Tuesday, or the gun he is accused of wielding against troopers.
His son has called him once since the incident, from police custody, Cotto said. The teenager told him about his $3 million bail, and said he was scared, but didn't speak about the chase, the crash, or the shooting, Cotto said.
"We're destroyed," Cotto said of his family as he wiped away tears.
Cotto said he was grateful that his son had not been killed in the shootout. "I respect that they did a good job," he said. "They got my son, and they didn't kill my son."
He also said he wanted to apologize to Casey and his family, and had been glad to hear that the trooper had left the hospital.
Police say Giovanni Cotto took off from a traffic stop on I-76 Tuesday morning, leading troopers on a pursuit down the Vine Street Expressway. When Casey pulled alongside Cotto, the teen began firing at him, only to have his vehicle careen into Casey's car and then into a school bus, sparking a fire.
As flames spread from his wrecked car to the school bus, Cotto jumped from his car and kept firing at Casey and other troopers, hitting Casey in the shoulder, police said. He was captured after a brief foot chase.
Passing a cluster of TV cameras Tuesday as he was brought out of the state police barracks at Belmont, Cotto said only that he had nothing to say about the shooting.