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Wounded Trooper Awakes from Medically-Induced Coma

Buffalo, NY – One of the state troopers police say was ambushed by Ralph Phillips woke from a medically induced coma Thursday.

Officials say Trooper Donald Baker, Jr., who was shot in the back August 31st, opened his eyes but isn't talking yet. Baker has been hospitalized in Erie Pennsylvania since the shooting.

Police say Baker and Trooper Joseph Longobardo were shot while they were staking out a wooded area near the home of Phillips' former girlfriend.

Longobardo died from his injuries three days later.

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, State Police Spokeswoman Rebecca 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.

Phillips surrendered after being cornered in a Pennsylvania field just across the state line earlier this month.