A former Penn State football player who is currently a Pennsylvania State Trooper was wounded by gunfire Friday after a nearly 17-hour standoff that saw the suspect shot dead in Latrobe, Pa.
Brian King, a tactical officer at the Belle Vernon barracks with nearly 15 years on the force, suffered an injury close to his eye in the shooting exchange that led to the death of 46-year-old Scott Murphy.
Murphy was accused of stealing hundreds of Oxycontin pills from a Latrobe pharmacy Thursday.
King, who played at Penn State in the mid-1990s, was wearing a shield that was shattered by one of the bullets fired by Murphy.
King underwent eye surgery on Friday at UPMC Presbyterian.
State police spokeswoman Trooper Robin Mungo said the specific nature of the injury was uncertain.
“Upon entry into the residence, Mr. Murphy shot one of the members of our Special Emergency Response Team,” said Capt. Stephen Eberle, of State Police. “After our member was shot, several members of the Special Emergency Response Team returned fire. Subsequently, Mr. Murphy died of a gunshot wound.
“The gunfire from the subject hit (King) in the face — a shield, ballistics shield — which in turn shattered. … That shield saved his life."
Police described King’s condition as stable. Other officers from the Belle Vernon barracks visited King on Saturday and said he is doing “OK.”
One colleague described King “as the most upbeat, likable person on earth" when contacted by FOXSports.com.
He added that King always is the first to lift the spirits of everyone else and was continuing to do just that even in the hospital.
Jay Paterno, son of the late Joe Paterno and a longtime part of the Penn State program, tweeted out best wishes to King, whose last season as a Nittany Lion was 1994, when the team went undefeated.
Thoughts for PSU player now Trooper Brian King–shot in the line of duty. Prayers for him & his family: http://t.co/365sEzE9hy