Arrests made in shooting of Atlantic City cop — 3 ‘suspects’ actually victims, too
ATLANTIC CITY — The manhunt for the suspects involved in the shooting of a city cop early Saturday morning is over.
Two Cumberland County men were arrested later Saturday and charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder on police officers and a slew of other robbery charges.
The incident outside the Ceasars casino resulted in the fatal shooting by police of one of the suspects, identified as Jerome Damon, 25, of Camden.
The police officer, who has not been identified, was shot in the head and remained in critical condition late Saturday night at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.
Authorities initially had been looking for five individuals and released security footage showing a group of three men walking on a city street followed closely by another group of three men.
But it turns out that three of those men were in fact victims themselves, not perpetrators, authorities said.
Atlantic County Acting Prosecutor Diane Ruberton said the two cops got out of their vehicle to approach the large group of men after seeing them “engaged in criminal activity.” Ruberton on Saturday night clarified that what the officers had seen was a robbery in progress, with three men robbing the other three.
When the gunfire erupted all six men fled in separate directions. Police returned fire and struck Damon, who was found dead more than a block away.
Investigators managed to identify all five remaining men in the video. The three robbery victims cooperated with police and were released from custody.
Charged in the shooting are Martell Chisholm, 19, of Millville, and Demetrius Cross, 28, of Bridgeton.
They also face charges of first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose.
They face up to 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charges.
The shooting came days after the slaying of a store manager Thursday afternoon at a busy downtown shopping district and a shootout along miles of highway earlier in the week in the county.
The investigation into the shooting, which involved the help of the State Police and the FBI, also happened as the region was placed under a state of emergency and communities braced for Tropical Storm Hermine.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office does not release arrest booking photos of suspects, and photos were not immediately available from the county jail Saturday night.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.