Upper Darby Constable Carmen "Skip" Damiani has been haunted by a bright light for eight months.
"No one should have to stare down the barrel of a gun and see a flash," he said. "A flash I've seen since April 23 until this day."
Yesterday, that blinding light dimmed slightly when Tamarr Minor, the man who shot Damiani in the head and apartment manager Thomas "Ted" Hicks in the abdomen while they were evicting him from his Yeadon apartment, was sentenced in Delaware County Court to 13 to 26 years in state prison.
Minor, 21, pleaded guilty on Oct. 8 to two counts of attempted murder.
He owed about $2,000 in back rent when he pulled a gun from the cushions of a couch in his Parkview Court apartment and shot Damiani, who was holding a metal baton, and Hicks, who was unarmed, when they came to evict him on April 23.
"To this day, I'm amazed I'm not standing before the court prosecuting a double homicide case," Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDevitt said, before a courtroom packed with constables, cops and family.
Damiani suffered a skull fracture and a concussion and still has bullet fragments in his head. Despite his injuries, he returned to work within three weeks of the attack.
A bullet was removed from Hicks' abdomen. He too, has returned to work.
"We don't deserve this," Damiani said. "None of us do. We're all here to do a job - to protect and serve - and that's what I was doing, serving."
Damiani's wife, Patricia, said that her terror from that day has turned into fury.
"You're left with anger - anger that you don't want and anger you didn't ask for," she said.
Although Minor's family and attorney agreed that he must take responsibility for his actions, they also expressed grievances with "clerical and tactical errors" that they think were made during the eviction process.
Robert Minor III labeled his son a "maverick" who felt like he had to do everything bigger, better and earlier than his three siblings, like renting an apartment he couldn't afford.
He said that his son felt that if he didn't shoot the men, he might die, even though no one but Minor had a gun that day.
Minor, who had no criminal record, and had a decent resumé and a 10-month-old daughter, "went from zero-to-60 in a second," said his attorney, Lonny Fish.
"While justice should be served, we should not waste a life," Fish said.
Minor also asked Judge Ann Osborne for leniency.
"I ask you to give me the opportunity to start a new life at a young age," he said. "When you serve justice, like my mother and father always said, you temper it with mercy."
Along with serving 13 to 26 years in prison, Minor also was ordered to serve a consecutive 14 years' probation and to pay $1,047 in restitution to Damiani. *