An Atlantic City police officer — and expectant father — who was shot in the head during a robbery outside a casino early Saturday made a major stride in his recovery Thursday, police said.

The department posted a Facebook update Thursday afternoon saying that Officer Joshlee Vadell's ventilator had been removed. "He is sitting up and talking. His family thanks everyone for their support," the post said.

UPDATE ON OFFICER VADELL- Today Officer Vadell's ventilator was removed. He is sitting up and talking. His family thanks everyone for their support.

Posted by Atlantic City Police Department on Thursday, September 8, 2016

Joshlee Vadell, 29, was shot after he stepped out of his cruiser around 2:30 a.m. near the Caesars Atlantic City parking garage on Arkansas Avenue, police said.

Vadell and his partner had stopped after observing an armed robbery involving six men. Police said the robbery was drug-related, but have yet to release further details.

The partner, who was not identified, shot and killed one of the suspects, identified as Jerome Damon, 25, of Camden.

Two other attackers were arrested a few hours after the shooting and were subsequently charged with attempted murder of both officers, robbery and other offenses. Three other men were identified as the robbery victims, and were not charged.

Vadell, a nine-year member of the force, and his wife Laura Vadell are expecting a baby in about a month, sources told the Inquirer.

Vadell was known in the greater Atlantic City community. A video shared across social media over the weekend showed the officer playing jump rope with neighborhood children on Sept. 12, 2015.

Matt Rogers, president the Atlantic City Policeman's Benevolent Association Local 24, said a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Vadell family.