Watch CBS News

Chester police senior detective Steve Byrne released from hospital after shootout over the weekend

Chester police officer recovering at home following weekend shooting
Chester police officer recovering at home following weekend shooting 02:22

CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) -- Chester police senior detective Steve Byrne was released from Crozer Chester Medical Center on Monday. He was injured during a shootout with an armed suspect over the weekend.

"He was struck towards his left side and like I said, just thank God he wasn't fatally wounded," City of Chester Police Commissioner Steven Gretsky said. 

The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police say Byrne was trying to pull over 40-year-old Torraize Armstrong, who was driving a car involved in a drive-by shooting on Pennell Street that same morning.

"A black Ford Taurus, very distinctive vehicle, drove by and shot an individual," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said. "That shot came from the driver's side window, and that car sped off."

Stollsteimer says Byrne spotted Armstrong, but he refused to pull over, leading officers on a chase from Chester to Upland and back to Chester. Stollsteimer says when Armstrong's tire blew out, he got out of his car and opened fire.

Chester officer in "good spirits" after being released from hospital following shooting: Officials 17:49

"He had a Browning 9mm semi-automatic weapon on him," Stollsteimer said. "He fired directly at police officers. Detective Byrne was shot by him. Detective Byrne returned fire, as did other officers."

Armstrong was killed. As for Detective Byrne, he was wearing a ballistic vest, but it didn't have the full coverage of other bulletproof vests. He's now safe at home recovering with his family, Commissioner Gretsky said.

"This is the third police shooting we've had, third officer shot, just in the last 10 or 12 days," Stollsteimer said.

Officials believe the shortage of police officers in Chester is contributing to the gun violence. They declined to provide the exact number of police officers currently on the force.

"There is a shortage of police officers across this country," Stollsteimer said. "Again, we're having such a hard time recruiting people because of days like today." 

"We're working in an environment where a lot of people do not want to be police officers. A lot of young people don't want to be involved in public service," he added.

"Criminals know when police are on," Jonathan Ross, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police William Penn Lodge, said. "They know what things are going on. And we really have to do a better job here in Chester of retaining and recruiting officers, or else you're going to have issues like this happen."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.