Officer Craig Kelley of the Philadelphia Housing Authority yesterday told a jury about dramatic events of the night he was shot as a trial opened for his alleged attacker.
Zahir Boddy-Johnson, 18, is charged with the attempted murder of Kelley, and other related offenses. He is alleged to have shot Kelley with an SKS assault rifle in an attempted robbery gone wrong.
Under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Deborah Cooper Nixon, Kelley told the Common Pleas jury how he "looked death in the face" at his post in the Queen Lane Apartments in Germantown on Feb. 17, 2008.
Kelley testified that when he heard a knock at the door of his booth, he expected to see one of the high-rise building's residents after he opened it.
Instead, he said he was greeted with the words, "Don't move!"
"To my shock and horror, I'm looking down the muzzle of a rifle," Kelley, 50, testified. "At that point, my world became the muzzle of that gun and his eyes."
Kelley was shot in the left side of his abdomen before being taken to Temple University Hospital's emergency room.
He went on to describe his relief at the sight of responding police cars.
"Red and blue lights had never been so beautiful in my life," Kelley said.
In his opening statement, Boddy-Johnson's attorney, Mike Parkinson, conceded that his client was at the scene and in possession of the gun used to shoot Kelley, but argued to jurors that Boddy-Johnson never attempted to kill Kelley.
In Nixon's questioning of Kelley, she introduced a series of visuals into evidence.
Kelley put on his bulletproof vest, which was pierced by one of the shots, and showed the 3-inch wide wound in his abdomen.
He drew a picture on a whiteboard to show exactly where he fell in the booth after being shot.
A window pane from Kelley's booth that had absorbed two shots also was brought in as evidence.
Kelley was even handed the rifle used in the shooting, so that he could identify it.
"It feels a lot different from this end," he said as he held the gun, a statement that was immediately stricken from the record by Judge Gwendolyn Bright.