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Chester officer in "good spirits" after being released from hospital following weekend shooting, pursuit

Chester officer expected to make a full recovery after shooting, press conference set for Monday
Chester officer expected to make a full recovery after shooting, press conference set for Monday 01:59

CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) -- A Chester police officer who was shot after exchanging gunfire with a driver following a brief pursuit is now back at home with his family after being released from the hospital Monday, the Chester police commissioner said in a news conference. 

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, FOP Lodge #19 President John Ross, Chester Mayor Stefan Roots, Chester Police Commissioner Steven Gretzky, and other city and law enforcement officials held a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the ongoing investigation into the weekend shooting.

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

Officials identified the officer who was shot as Chester Police Detective Steve Byrne. Commissioner Gretzky said Detective Byrne has 16 years of service with the police department. 

Gretzky said he visited Byrne in the hospital Monday morning where he was "in very good spirits." He added that Detective Byrne was released from the hospital earlier Monday afternoon and was home safe with his family. 

Chester Police Detective Steve Byrne
Chester Police Department

In a Facebook post from Sunday, the DA's office wrote "We are deeply saddened by yesterday's events, but enormously grateful that Chester Police Detective Steve Byrne is expected to make a full recovery. Another reminder that every day, brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect and serve their community."

According to investigators, around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, Detective Byrne was trying to stop a male driver near 9th and Kerlin Streets. The driver, according to police, was wanted in connection to a homicide investigation near 9th and Kerlin Streets earlier in the day.

After a brief pursuit, the suspect crashed near West 14th Street and Arbor Drive. When the driver got out of the car, police said he started shooting at Byrne.

"As he pulled that vehicle over or attempted to pull that vehicle over, the driver got out of the car, shooting his gun and firing at the police officer," Stollsteimer said. "The police officer returned fire and the officer was wounded."

CBS Philadelphia was told Byrne was hit in the torso and rushed to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where members of the Chester police department gathered Saturday night to support each other. The driver and suspected shooter was also taken to the hospital after being "critically injured" by Byrne, where he later died from his injuries.

"We are thankful that our hero, our police officer, is doing well," Stollsteimer said during a press conference Saturday.  

Delaware County DA and officials give updates on officer shot in Chester 03:49

Earlier in the day, resident Jeff Leins told CBS Philadelphia he heard more than a dozen shots. "Then, I heard shots fired back... I heard maybe about 10 of them," he said.

More than 45 evidence markers covered the ground as multiple police departments responded.

Neighbors in the area said they were surprised by the shooting.

"Because it's quiet," Rebecca Oliver said. "It's always quiet you can hear a pin drop over here even at night."

During a news conference, the Chester City Mayor Stefan Roots called it a sad day and said he's thankful the officer is expected to pull through.

"I will say this to anyone who wants to challenge our police officers when they're in the line of duty, don't," Mayor Roots said. "It turns out in a tragedy like we've seen today."

Police have not released the name of the suspect who died.

Officer Byrne is now the third officer in Delaware County shot in the last 10 days.

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