The Atlantic City police officer who was shot outside a casino Saturday during an armed robbery is suffering from a head wound but is improving, according to sources.
The officer, Joshlee Vadell, 29, gave a thumbs-up from his bed at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center-City Division over the weekend, the sources said.
Officials said Vadell was in critical but stable condition Monday.
The shootout occurred around 2:30 a.m. after Vadell and his partner, both in uniform, observed a robbery involving six men near the Caesars Atlantic City parking garage on Arkansas Avenue.
Vadell was shot after he got out of his marked cruiser.
Vadell's partner, who was not identified, shot and killed one of the suspects, identified as Jerome Damon, 25, of Camden.
Two other men - Martell Chisholm, 19, of Millville, N.J., and Demetrius Cross, 28, of Bridgeton, N.J. - were arrested by police Saturday.
Each was charged with two counts of attempted murder of the two officers. Each also was charged with three counts of robbery and other offenses.
Three others were identified as victims of the armed robbery and were not charged, investigators said.
Vadell, a nine-year member of the force, and his wife are expecting a baby, said the sources, who added that Laura Vadell is eight months pregnant.
A statement released Monday and signed by Laura Vadell "and family" thanked "the individuals who have donated their time and resources to the comfort of our family as well as the capture of those responsible for this horrific crime."
Police did not release details, but the sources said the robbery was drug-related. No further details were available.
On Monday, Matt Rogers, president of Local 24 of the Atlantic City Policeman's Benevolent Association, announced the creation of a GoFundMe account to help the Vadell family. The link is www.gofundme.com/2n55utr8.