Atlantic City police officer shot in line of duty released from rehab, heads home

Atlantic City Police Officer Josh Vadell stands with police officers from various agencies as he leaves rehab to go home for the first time since being shot in the head Sept. 3.

Courtesy of Moss Rehab

ATLANTIC CITY – Two men were indicted Thursday, Feb. 16 in connection with a September shooting in Atlantic City that resulted in the death of one man and the hospitalization of an Atlantic City police officer, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton said in a press release.

Martel D. Chisholm, 30, of Pleasantville and Demetris Cross, 28, of Bridgeton were indicted on 13 counts by an Atlantic County grand jury that reviewed evidence presented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy. The charges are criminal attempt to commit murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon (handgun), conspiracy to commit unlawful possession of handgun, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, conspiracy to commit possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, escape from detention, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated assault by knowingly pointing a firearm at another, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, obstructing the administration of law “by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence or physical interference or obstacle” and resisting arrest.

The indictment alleges that at 2:34 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, two uniformed Atlantic City police officers on patrol observed a robbery being committed near the Caesars Atlantic City parking garage on Arkansas Avenue.

As Officer Joshlee Vadell of Egg Harbor Township exited the police vehicle to approach a group of six males, he was shot in the head. The second officer returned fire, hitting one of the suspects, who fled the scene with the others.

The man who had been shot was found about a block and a half away on Missouri and Pacific Avenues, collapsed on the ground. Emergency medical personnel responded, and he was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as Jerome Damon, 25, of Camden.

Vadell was treated at the scene and transported to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Division in Atlantic City in critical condition, where he was treated and eventually released.

All five persons of interest sought by law enforcement were located and identified.

Police said Damon, Chisholm and Cross had been caught in the process of committing armed robbery against the three others, who cooperated with police and were released. 

New Jersey State Police arrested Chisholm and Cross without incident later the same day in Bridgeton. They were transferred to the custody of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, which processed the arrest and charged the men with two counts of attempted murder (of the two police officers), robbery, conspiracy and weapons charges.

Both men were lodged in the Atlantic County jail on $750,000 full cash bail set by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury Jr., where they remain.

Ruberton presented the evidence to an Atlantic County grand jury Jan. 25 that reviewed the evidence and declined to bring criminal indictments against the officer involved in the shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 609-909-7666, Crime Stoppers at 800-658-TIPS (8477), the anonymous and confidential tip line 652-1234, or text TIPCOP plus your tip to 274637.

The New Jersey COP SHOT program posted a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible for shooting the officer.

Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office website at acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page, calling Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 800-658-8477 (TIPS) or reporting the information to crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.