The police officer shot in a small Delaware County, Pennsylvania, borough Friday morning was sitting up and waiting for visitors Saturday morning, according to family and friends, a seemingly miraculous turn after an alleged gunman shot him seven times.
Officer Chris Dorman, 25, was joking with people as they arrived at Penn Presbyterian Hospital, according to Folcroft Police Chief Robert Ruskowski.
Dorman's cousin tweeted about the officer's recovery Saturday morning, with a photo of the two in the officer's hospital room: "My cousin Chris Dorman is up talking and is expected to make a full recovery thanks to everyone for the prayers."
Dorman was shot in the neck, face and shoulder around 9:45 a.m. behind an apartment building on Elmwood Avenue near Folcroft Train Station on Friday, according to Delaware County officials.
One of the officers who rushed him to the hospital said Dorman managed to keep talking the whole ride to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. He was later transferred to Penn Presbyterian.
"I was scared the whole time," police Sgt. William Bair said.
He was, "Up and talking, awake and talking, so that's great," Folcroft Fire Chief Tom Weber said late Friday evening.
Dorman also serves as a volunteer firefighter, something he's been doing since he was 16 years old.
Dorman's bulletproof vest stopped four bullets, which officials say saved his life.
The suspect has been identified as Donte Brooks Island. Island was arraigned Friday on attempted murder and other charges, and was held on $1 million bail.
Federal court records show that Island was on parole for an illegal gun possession conviction. He served 110 months in jail and was nearing the end of three years' supervised release when he allegedly shot Dorman Friday.
Island's parole was scheduled to end the day after the shooting, according to court records, which further indicate that Island stopped reporting to his parole officer last July. Numerous attempts to reach Island failed, the records show, and he missed five scheduled drug tests during the nearly 12 months he failed to report as ordered by federal court.
It remains unknown if Island has an attorney.
Ruskowski said Friday Dorman, a part-time police officer, was working toward becoming a SEPTA police officer.
"You don't want him to leave. He's that type of guy," Ruskowski said. "Great sense of humor."
In his initial exchange with a police dispatcher Friday, Dorman can be heard shouting: "I'm shot in the face! I'm shot in the face!"
Fifteen seconds later, he told the dispatcher: "I'm shot! I'm shot! I'm shot!"
The shooting scene was Folcroft Station Apartments on Elmwood Avenue, a short distance from the Folcroft police station and SEPTA's Folcroft train station near Philadelphia International Airport.
According to a resident of the Folcroft Station Apartments, the suspect was smoking marijuana outside the building in the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue prior to the shooting.
The building, on Elmwood Avenue, is near the Folcroft police station and SEPTA's Folcroft train station near Philadelphia International Airport.
Ruskowski confirmed that Dorman responded to a report of people smoking drugs in the rear of the apartment building.
SWAT teams surrounded the building just before 12 p.m. and various Delaware County municipal police forces searched nearby train tracks used by SEPTA and Amtrak for the suspect. Officers asked residents to stay in their homes during the investigation.
"I heard the shots. I looked out my windows and see police with sniper rifles running around," said Lawrence Ladd, who lives next to the apartment building.
Elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, sent their support to the officer.