VIDEO: 'Routine' Traffic Stop Ends In Gun Battle, Trooper Shot In Femoral Artery
Plainfield, PA – Dashcam footage that showed the near-fatal roadside shootout between Pennsylvania State police and an armed assailant was released by prosecutors on Thursday (video below).
The video’s release came six weeks after Daniel Clary, 22, was convicted of attempting to murder Pennsylvania State Trooper Ryan Seiple and Corporal Seth Kelly, The Morning Call reported.
The incident occurred on Nov. 7, 2017, after Trooper Seiple pulled Clary over for speeding.
The seemingly unremarkable stop initially concluded after the trooper handed Clary a citation for the traffic violation and began to drive away.
Suddenly, Clary motioned for trooper to come back over to speak with him. During the conversation that ensued, Trooper Seiple began to suspect that Clary was under the influence of marijuana, and radioed for assistance, The Morning Call reported.
Cpl. Kelly arrived at the scene, and the troopers began running Clary through field sobriety testing.
Dashcam footage showed the troopers as they led Clary to the rear of his vehicle and instructed him to place his hands behind his back.
But instead of complying with their commands, Clary spun around and began scuffling with the officers, and attempted to gain control of Cpl. Kelly’s firearm.
At one point, he managed to dislodge Trooper Seiple’s ammunition magazine, The Morning Call reported.
When Cpl. Kelly’s backup weapon fell to the ground during the roadside brawl, Trooper Seiple recovered and cleared the handgun before tossing it to the side.
According to court testimony, Trooper Seiple tased Clary twice, while Cpl. Kelly tased him a total of five times, The Morning Call reported.
As the trio wrestled on the ground and in the traffic lane, Trooper Seiple delivered five body strikes, while Cpl. Kelly struck Clary nine times and delivered a knee strike.
With Clary’s attempts to gain the officer’s weapons thwarted, he retreated back to his vehicle and recovered his own weapon, the video showed.
According to court testimony by an expert witness who examined the footage frame-by-frame, Trooper Seiple and Clary shot each other simultaneously, The Morning Call reported.
“I didn’t want to die in the highway, in the gravel I was crawling in,” Trooper Seiple testified. He said he pictured his newborn daughter in his mind as he scrambled to find cover.
In the shootout that ensued, Clary fired a total of six rounds, severing Cpl. Kelly’s femoral artery. The troopers fired a combined total of 41 rounds at their attacker, who ultimately fled the scene in his vehicle.
In the aftermath, Trooper Seiple frantically cinched a tourniquet around the corporal’s thigh, but the situation looked bleak. He had also been shot in the neck and shoulder, The Morning Call reported.
“We were losing Cpl. Kelly,” Trooper Seiple explained during his court testimony. “He was fading from us.”
By the time Cpl. Kelly arrived at St. Luke’s University Hospital by air ambulance, he was in full cardiac arrest, trauma surgeon Dr. James Cipolla testified.
“That means his heart had stopped and he was dead,” Cipolla explained. He estimated that the corporal had been in cardiac arrest for between five and 10 minutes, The Morning Call reported.
The trauma surgeon cut open Cpl. Kelly’s chest, spread his ribs, and manually massaged his heart to stimulate it to beat.
Although most “massive” blood transfusions require between six and 10 units of blood, Cpl. Kelly required 60 units, Cipolla testified.
After he was apprehended, Clary insisted that the troopers had acted aggressively during the stop, and that they shot at him first, causing him to fear for his life – claims that were clearly contradicted by the dashcam footage.
During his trial, Clary’s attorney, Janet Jackson, argued that her client was scared to be receiving his first speeding ticket, and that he was surprised when the troopers began to handcuff him.
Clary acted in self-defense, Jackson claimed.
Within days of the incident, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli determined that Trooper Seiple and Cpl. Kelly were justified in using deadly force against Clary.
“These cops used extreme restraint in these circumstances,” Morganelli said, according to The Morning Call. “This gentleman acted so quickly and so fast that I’m amazed both these troopers survived this incident.”
Clary’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 31.
You can watch dashcam footage of the harrowing shootout in the video below: