The Police Unity Tour usually honors officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. But on Wednesday, dozens of riders left Atlantic City in honor of one who lived.
Officer Josh Vadell was shot in the head as he approached an armed robbery in progress at about 2:30 a.m. Sept. 3. His partner, Thomas McCabe Jr., shot back, killing the suspect. Other officers quickly responded and, on Wednesday, Vadell was there to wish his fellow officers well on their journey to Washington, D.C.
Next to him, was McCabe and Officer Jesse Logan, who was one of those who responded that morning.
Carrie McCabe remembers getting the call at 2:35 a.m., and hearing of what happened to her son.
“Everyday at 2:35, I think of it,” McCabe said.
She was born and raised in Atlantic City. Her daughter followed her footsteps into teaching at the city’s high school. Her son followed his father onto the Atlantic City Police Department.
Thomas McCabe Sr. retired in 2008, after 25 years on the force. In that time, the dreaded call never came. But with just a year as a full-time city officer, the phone rang with the news of the shootout.
“Being here and seeing all this just makes it more of a reality,” Carrie McCabe told BreakingAC, as she teared up.
“You don’t know how an officer is going to react until they’re in that situation,” McCabe Sr. said after seeing his son off on the tour. “He just did what he had to do.”
“And he’d do it again,” Carrie McCabe added.
“Josh and Tommy have a bond for life,” she said. “They are brothers by choice.”