Yusef Proctor was in no mood to talk.
Walking slowly and suffering the effects of four herniated discs brought on by being shot in the back last June, Proctor was the first witness called at yesterday's preliminary hearing for accused killer Malik Collins.
And almost immediately, Proctor and Gerald Stein, Collins' defense attorney, were at it.
"Stop trying to twist my words!" an agitated Proctor said when Stein repeatedly sought clarification of the witness' statements. "What is on my statement is true."
At issue were seeming inconsistencies in Proctor's descriptions of what happened on June 15 when he and two other men were shot on Wingohocking Street near Smedley in Nicetown. One of the men, John Waller, 30, died of his wounds.
Collins, 19, is charged with murder, assault and related offenses in the shooting spree.
Stein called attention to Proctor's original statement to police in which he said he couldn't see the race of the shooter. Yesterday, he said the shooter was black. Collins is black.
After testimony about what happened that fateful day by Proctor and another victim, Carl Odom, 25, Collins was held by Municipal Judge Craig Washington on the charges. A further hearing will be held next month.
Proctor, 28, described in chilling detail how he was holding his 7-month-old son when the shooting started. The baby was not hurt.
"I turned around, see guys coming up on me fast, reaching in their pants," he testified. "I ran down Chadwick Street looking for cover. I ran in an alley."
Proctor said his cousin, Odom, was shot in the legs. He said Collins and an accomplice stood over his friend, Waller, and shot him numerous times before fleeing.
Odom's testimony mirrored Proctor's.
"I was sitting on the steps and heard gunshots," Odom said. "I tried to get up but couldn't because I was shot in the leg and foot."
Odom testified that after Collins and his accomplice shot Waller, Waller said to him, " 'Get a car. Get me out of here. I think I'm dying.' "
"But I couldn't move," Odom said. "John just rolled over."
Collins, who appeared withdrawn, did not say much, but mumbled, "Yes," when Judge Washington asked if he understood the charges against him.
"I'm very optimistic," Stein said afterward. "The identity of my client is questionable. [Proctor] is not even sure of what race the shooter was."