Update:Shot New York Trooper Awakes from Coma
Shot New York Trooper Awakes from Coma
Updated: September 22nd, 2006 02:39 PM PDT
The Associated Press
A trooper who police believe was shot by former fugitive Ralph "Bucky" Phillips was semiconscious Thursday after being in a medically induced coma since last month, state police said.
Trooper Donald Baker Jr., 38, was not talking, but he opened his eyes and moved his head for the first time since the Aug. 31 shooting, state police spokeswoman Rebecca Gibbons said.
Baker and Trooper Joseph Longobardo, 32, were ambushed by a sniper hiding in the woods outside the home of Phillips' former girlfriend. Baker was shot in the back.
Baker's family issued a statement thanking the public for continued support while he recovers.
"Donny's condition was recently upgraded from critical to "serious but stable" and he continues to show progress and improvement," the statement said. "On today's date, Donny opened his eyes and recognized his wife, Tracy (and) his parents."
The doctors took Baker off of sedation and anticipated the semiconscious state, Gibbons said.
Phillips was accused of escaping from the Erie County Correctional Facility in April. The escape launched one of the state's largest manhunts.
He is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a state trooper near Elmira in June, and is suspected of shooting Baker and Longobardo, who died Sept. 3 from his injuries.
Phillips surrendered after being cornered in a Pennsylvania field just across the state line this month and now faces charges including attempted murder.