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Police Board Orders Firing Of CPD Officer Patrick Kelly, Accused Of Shooting Friend In Head While Off-Duty And Lying About It

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly, accused of shooting his friend in the head more than a decade ago, has been fired.

The decision came down from the Police Board on Thursday evening.

Kelly is accused of shooting Michael LaPorta in the head after a night of heavy drinking. It is a story the CBS 2 Investigators have been following for years.

In January of 2010, police were called to Kelly's home and found LaPorta with a gunshot wound to the head. Kelly claimed LaPorta had shot himself with the officer's gun in a suicide attempt. It wasn't until 2017 that the case was revisited and investigators found that Kelly had pulled the trigger and then lied about it for nine years.

LaPorta, known to his family as Mikey, suffered a traumatic brain injury. He two months in the hospital and two more at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He was unable to speak and thus could not provide an account of what happened until he regained consciousness, according to a report from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

The bullet remains lodged in LaPorta's head.

In interrogation video from the night of the shooting, Kelly was combative after he told fellow cops LaPorta shot himself. Kelly told them to call his father, a former member of the department.

While in custody he was somehow allegedly able to urinate on his hands, to throw off forensic tests.

After handing down their verdict, jurors said they believed Kelly shot LaPorta. He was never charged criminally for the shooting.

Also in 2017, a federal jury found the city liable for LaPorta's injuries, which have left him permanently disabled, paralyzed on the left side. The jury awarded LaPorta a record-breaking $44.7 million in damages – the most ever rewarded in a police misconduct case in Illinois.

But this past February, a panel of judges from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that verdict, ruling LaPorta's case against the city was "deeply flawed," because Kelly was off-duty when he shot LaPorta, and not acting as a police officer.

It wasn't until the jury's verdict in the case that COPA ruled Kelly shot LaPorta after a night of heavy drinking, and recommended Kelly be fired.

Then-Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson later moved to have Kelly fired. The next hearing on the disciplinary charges against Kelly is scheduled for next month before the Chicago Police Board.

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