Pennsylvania state trooper shot multiple times while trying to arrest alleged drunk driver
MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WNEP) -- State police identified the trooper shot during a routine traffic stop along Route 33 yesterday as Cpl. Seth Kelly.
Cpl. Kelly is a 13 year veteran of the state police and a native of Wayne County. He is now stationed in Northampton County.
Kelly was shot and badly wounded on Route 33 in Northampton County on Tuesday when investigators say a traffic stop went bad. Kelly was shot and rushed to the hospital where he's been in critical condition.
Cpl. Kelly is originally from Wayne County. His family has a farm north of Honesdale. It didn't take long for people back home to find out what happened. Everyone who knows Kelly or his family are pulling for him.
While his family focuses on being there for injured corporal, his state police family keeps watch at the family farm.
Before joining the Pennsylvania State Police more than a decade ago, Kelly was a juvenile probation officer with Wayne County, so he's touched many people in both his personal and private lives.
"It was devastating. It was just devastating. Myself and other coworkers who worked directly with Seth were beside ourselves. We went back and forth texting each other," said Sandy Fofi, Wayne County Juvenile Probation.
Fofi worked with Kelly when he was a juvenile probation officer more than a decade ago. Fofi says Kelly worked hard to join the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police and calls him a fighter.
"When I learned he had a tourniquet on his belt, that's Seth, definitely a survivor, definitely ready for anything that would come his way."
Family members did not want to speak on camera. They are waiting to find out how he comes through another surgery set for Wednesday.
Newswatch 16 did speak to former superintendent of Western Wayne School District, Lou Zefran, who was also Kelly's high school principal at Forest City Regional.
"I saw the name come up on the bottom of the screen. I got a sickening feeling that it was the same Seth Kelly. I knew. It just made me sick," Zefran said.
Zefran says Kelly was an outstanding probation officer who worked well with kids and faculty and spoke very highly of the injured state police corporal.
A retired state trooper, Wayne Thomas, said Kelly is smart and tough and a definition of a Pennsylvania State Trooper as well as being a compassionate man.
During a news conference at the Bethlehem State Police barracks Wednesday morning, state police said Cpl. Kelly is in critical but stable condition at St. Luke's Hospital. He was expected to undergo more surgery for his injuries Wednesday or Thursday. He was shot in the leg and neck/shoulder area.
Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio said the suspect in the case is Daniel Clary from Effort, Monroe County. Troopers planned to arraign him from his bedside on a long list of charges.
Investigators provided more details on how a routine traffic stop quickly escalated along Route 33 near Nazareth. They said Clary was pulled over for speeding and cleared to leave. But he waved down Trooper Ryan Seiple who had pulled him over, asking about paying that citation. Seiple sensed Clary was under the influence and went to call for backup.
When Cpl. Kelly arrived to help and the troopers attempted to handcuff Clary, D'Ambrosio said Clary violently fought back. There was a struggle right along the busy highway. D'Ambrosio said Clary was tased, but that only knocked him down. Clary jumped back up then ran back to his car, grabbed a gun through an open window and began firing.
Cpl. Kelly was struck multiple times. D'Ambrosio said the corporal was able to pull a tourniquet from his belt and apply it to his own wound, likely saving his life.
Even after he was struck, D'Ambrosio said Cpl. Kelly was able to shoot back along with Tpr. Seiple. That is when Clary was shot. He jumped in his vehicle and sped off, driving himself to Easton Hospital where he was arrested.
The Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Clary had "no right to be in possession of a firearm at all."