The Folcroft police officer who was shot seven times Friday morning gave a spirited shout-out to police, the medical community, and country singer Kenny Chesney on Saturday from his hospital bed.
Christopher Dorman's uplifting greeting was via video aired by 6ABC.
"I'd like to thank all the police, paramedics, and the doctors - and hey, Kenny, don't forget me" said Dorman, a gruesome wound visible across his left cheek and jaw. He originally had planned to attend Chesney's concert Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
Instead, the 25-year-old part-time officer in the small Delaware County borough was recovering at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Hours earlier, a smiling Dorman lying in his hospital bed was seen in a photo shared on Facebook.
A candlelight prayer vigil for his recovery was held Saturday night in the field behind Folcroft Borough Hall.
Just before 10 a.m. Friday, Dorman responded to a report of a drug deal on the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue.
Within seconds, 33-year-old Donte Brooks Island - commonly known as Abdul Wahi - allegedly fired seven shots from a .40-caliber pistol as Dorman approached, striking the officer in the face through both cheeks, in his groin, in a leg, and four times in his chest, authorities said.
"I'm shot in the face! I'm shot in the face!" Dorman shouted to dispatchers. The call, broadcast over police radio, captured more shots being fired and Dorman repeating, "I'm shot! I'm shot!"
After firing at two officers who arrived after Dorman was hit - and hitting neither - Island fled, police said. A three-hour manhunt followed, drawing nearly 200 officers from across the region and multiple armored vehicles to the tiny borough.
Around 1 p.m. Friday, authorities found Island hiding out in an apartment on the same block. He was arraigned Friday night on multiple counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault and faces a July 6 preliminary hearing.
Dorman underwent multiple surgeries throughout the day and is expected to make a full recovery.
On its Facebook page Saturday, the police department noted that there is a GoFundMe page set up for Dorman at www.gofundme.com/2b7hv9qk.
The page, set up by a woman named Amanda Viglione, who wrote on it that she used to work with Dorman at the Delaware County Sheriff's Department, says Dorman does not receive benefits because of his part-time work status.
Of Dorman, Viglione wrote that "he is one of the most honorable, loyal, and generous guys that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, working with, and being friends with. He is the type of person who would give the shirt off his own back for anyone!!"
Added Viglione: "Officer Dorman has a long road ahead of him in his recovery process and could use all the support and prayers you can spare."
As of Saturday evening, the page had raised over $17,000 from more than 300 people.
On its Facebook page, the Folcroft Police Department on Saturday also praised another of its officers, Dave DePietro, for exchanging gunfire with Island after Dorman was shot, diverting further gunfire away from Dorman.
Folcroft Police Chief Robert Ruskowski said Friday that Dorman grew up in Folcroft and long aspired to be a police officer. At 16, Dorman joined Folcroft's fire company, volunteering mornings and nights throughout high school. Last June, he joined the Police Department. And this summer, he was in the final steps of applying to work for SEPTA Transit Police, Ruskowski said.
Measuring less than two square miles, Folcroft Borough is not far from Philadelphia International Airport. One in five of its 6,500 residents lives below the poverty line. Certain spots - including the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue, where the shooting took place - are known to be hubs for drugs.
Police have said that's where Island lived after being released from a 15-year sentence in federal prison. Since at least 2001, court records show, Island has been arrested several times in Philadelphia and its suburbs for dealing drugs, illegally carrying a firearm, and engaging in disorderly conduct.
"This is a callous individual, he is a career criminal," District Attorney John J. Whelan said at a news conference Friday night at the Folcroft Fire Company station. "If we have our way ... he will never see the light of day again."