“Oh (expletive), I’m going to die,” Atlantic City Police Officer Josh Vadell thought after finding out he’d been shot in the head.
Vadell, now retired from the department, testified Monday as the trial continued for two men accused in a deadly robbery that left the young officer critically injured.
He begged them to save him. He had a baby on the way.
Testimony began last week with Detective Thomas McCabe giving a first-hand account of how he and Vadell came under fire as they tried to stop an armed robbery Sept. 3, 2016.
McCabe calmly relayed how he returned fire as suspect Jerome Damon shot at them, then turned his attention to his fallen partner.
Damon died of a gunshot wound a block and a half away. Now his alleged accomplices, Martel Chisolm and Demetris Cross, are on trial.
The state rested following Vadell’s testimony.
Chisolm’s defense attorney, Robin Lord, called the lead witness in the case back to walk through the alleged path of the three teens and their alleged attackers.
The jury then was taken out of the room so the sides could talk about what could be brought up during cross-examination, if Chisolm or Cross decided to testify.
With some of their previous convictions allowed in, both men decided not to testify.
Closings are set for Tuesday morning.
Two of the three teens being held at gunpoint before dawn that morning testified last week, but recalled little about what happened.
A third victim, K’vaun Wyatt, was killed in a shooting two months later.
His cousin Jaquan Campos, now 20, testified that he has lost a lot of people to gun violence, with tattoos honoring the memory of six people.
Campos has been identified as the person McCabe and Vadell saw being held at gunpoint with his pants down around his ankles and his hands interlaced behind his head.
But Campos’ memory of what happened during the armed robbery was not good.
“How many people pulled out a gun?” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy asked.
“One,” Campos replied.
“Was there anybody with that person?” Levy asked.
“I don’t remember,” he replied.
During cross-examination, he told Lord that only one person tried to rob him.
The other victim, now 17, cut his testimony short the first day, refusing to answer any more questions.
When a warrant brought him back a second time, he remembered even less, including even being robbed at gunpoint.