Testimony has ended in the attempted murder trial of former Temple law student Gerald Ung with Ung testifying he shot and critically wounded Eddie DiDonato in the early morning of Jan. 17, 2010 only after the 24-year-old Villanova grad lunged at him and grabbed his leg.
"I tried to kick him [DiDonato] away first," Ung, 29, told a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury this morning, describing the incident at Fourth and Market Streets in Old City.
"He grabbed my right leg and I started to fall backward and my shoe came off. I just remember seeing sparks and hearing pops."
Defense attorney Jack McMahon, who has argued that Ung fired in self-defense, drove the point home: "Did you shoot?"
"Yes, I pulled the trigger," Ung replied though he added he did not know how many times he fired the .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol he had a permit to carry.
Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott has said Ung emptied all six shots from the pistol's magazine, hitting DiDonato in one hand and the chest.
When the jury returns from lunch at about 2 p.m., the panel will hear closing arguments from McMahon and McDermott. Depending on the hour, said Judge Glynnis Hill, he might also instruct the jurors on the relevant law and let them begin deliberating.
The shooting outside the studios of Fox29 followed a confrontation between Ung and two friends and DiDonato and his three friends after an evening of clubbing in Old City.
The two groups, who did not know each other, got into an argument at Third and Market at 2:30 a.m. trying to hail cabs. That argument because steadily louder and angrier as Ung's group walked toward Fourth and Market with DiDonato's following close behind.
At the corner, Ung testified, DiDonato friend Thomas Kelly rushed him and pushed one his companions and then moved toward him. He tried kicking him away and then drew his weapon and said he ordered Kelly: "Back the [expletive] off."
Kelly stopped, Ung said, but DiDonato moved toward him and grabbed his leg.
Ung, at times struggling to maintain his composure, said he only drew his gun at Fourth after Kelly twice tried to attack his group and DiDonato then grabbed his leg.
McDermott, in questioning Ung, kept returning to the fact that, during the 70-second walk between Third and Fourth, Ung kept up the expletive-punctuated banter with DiDonato's group and never once tried to run, cross the street or call police on his cell phone.
"You had options, didn't you?" McDermott asked.
Ung maintained that the incident happened so fast that he never thought of his options, just as he could not remember how many times he fired.
"It was like being in a movie, I was dazed," Ung said.
"Bad movie," replied McDermott.