By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was dramatic testimony today as Philadelphia police officers detailed their close-quarters struggle with a gunman now charged with shooting and nearly killing an officer three weeks ago.
The defendant allegedly fled a car stop in North Philadelphia and was later cornered in a small convenience store nearby (see related story).
Officers testified that defendant Eric Torres struggled violently as he resisted arrest. One officer called him “freakishly strong” as he clutched a gun to his belly.
At one point, Officer John Bucceroni testified, he grabbed the barrel of the gun and Torres fired, and fellow officer Edward Davies grunted and said he had been shot.
Torres continued to struggle, according to police, but his gun had jammed.
Philadelphia prosecutor Ed Jaramillo called it a “roulette” circle as the cops tried to subdue Torres:
“I think, as you heard from the officer, if that gun doesn’t jam — doesn’t ‘stovepipe’ — he has a chance to go shoot two, three, four more times. Now remember, each one of these officers is inches away from each other.”
The defense attorney presented no evidence at this preliminary hearing and declined comment afterward.
Meanwhile, police say that Officer Davies, still hospitalized, lost a kidney but took his first few steps yesterday (see previous story).