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STATEMENT BY THE ATLANTIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR

Today the Atlantic County Grand Jury heard evidence regarding the
circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old Camden man by an
officer of the Atlantic City Police Department on Saturday, September 3, 2016.
Following the presentation of evidence by Acting Prosecutor Diane Ruberton, the Grand
Jury determined that the officer acted lawfully and declined to institute criminal charges.
This matter was investigated by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major
Crimes Unit, as mandated by Attorney General and Prosecutor Directives. ACPO Major
Crimes detectives secured and documented the scene, recovered and cataloged
forensic and digital video evidence, interviewed all witnesses, including the three civilian
victims, the police officer who was shot and seriously injured, the police officer who fired
at the suspect, and all civilian witnesses known to have relevant information.
The following statement sets out the evidence gathered during the investigation
of this incident, and is being released to ensure that the public is properly informed on
this very important issue of common concern.
On September 3, 2016, at approximately 2:34 a.m., two Atlantic City police
officers were on routine patrol in the area of Atlantic and Arkansas Avenues. They were
in a marked patrol vehicle and both wearing full police uniforms. Officer #1 was driving
the vehicle and Officer # 2 was the front seat passenger. The officers observed a group
of males in an alley near the Caesar’s parking garage and Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant.
Officer #2 told Officer #1 to turn down Arkansas Avenue to investigate what the males
were doing.
Officer #1 activated the overhead vehicle lights and made a right turn onto
Arkansas Avenue, then pulled the vehicle towards the males on the left side of the
street. As they approached, both officers observed a male standing in his boxer shorts
with his pants around his ankles and his fingers interlaced behind his head. This male
was later identified as a 17 year old juvenile and will be referred to as Victim #1. Officer
#2 observed another male holding a black revolver pointed at the head of Victim #1.
The male holding the revolver will be referred to as the “Suspect.” Victim #1 said to the
officers, “Yo! They’re robbing us!”
Officer #2 began to exit the vehicle and reached to his/her side to
his/her firearm. As he/she was exiting the vehicle, he/she heard a “pop” and
ground. Both officers were equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWCs),
neither officer had sufficient time upon approaching the scene to activate the
function.

unholster
fell to the
however,
recording

Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office P.O. Box 2002 4997 Unami Boulevard, Suite 2
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Phone: (609)-909-7800 Fax: (609)-909-7802

All six males fled in different directions. Officer #1 recognized the “pop” sound as
a gunshot based upon his/her training and experience. He/she began to turn towards
his/her right where he/she saw Officer #2 on the ground. He/she continued turning to
his/her right and saw the Suspect fleeing through the alley towards the Trump Plaza.
He/she unholstered his/her firearm as the Suspect ran. As the Suspect was running, he
turned towards Officer #1 and continued to fire at Officer #1. Officer #1 returned fire,
firing 16 rounds. Officer #1 lost sight of the Suspect who continued running. Officer #1
then rendered medical aid to Officer #2.
All 6 individuals in the parking garage were ultimately identified by police. Victim
#1 was accompanied by two others males, another 17 year old juvenile (referred to as
Victim #2) and 18 year old male (referred to as Victim #3). The other two males
accompanying the Suspect were identified as Martel Chisolm, 29 years of age of
Bayview Avenue, Pleasantville, NJ and Demetrius Cross, 28 years of age of Burlington
Road, Bridgeton, NJ.
Victims #1, 2 and 3 all gave statements to the police regarding the incident. All
three accounts were consistent and provided the following information. Victims #1, 2,
and 3 had been at the Tropicana earlier that night. Upon leaving, they encountered the
group of the Suspect, Chisolm and Cross. The group approached the three victims
asking to buy marijuana. No exchange of money or marijuana occurred and the three
victims walked away. They walked through the Caesar’s parking garage and to the
alley behind Ruby Tuesday’s when they encountered the Suspect, Chisolm and Cross
again. At this point, the Suspect pulled out a black revolver and demanded everything
they had. Victims 2 & 3 were forced to the ground, then up against a wall, and the
Suspect took money from their pockets. Chisolm held the shirt of Victim # 3 and Cross
acted as a lookout. The Suspect then turned to Victim #1 and held the gun to Victim
#1’s head and pulled his pants down to the victim’s ankles searching for money. At that
point Officers #1 and #2 pulled up and Victim #2 saw the Suspect shoot Officer #2.
Victims #1 and 2 saw the Suspect turn and shoot at Officer #1 as he fled and saw
Officer #1 return fire. They each ran, fearing for their lives.
Other independent witnesses corroborated the events as described by the officers
and victims. Witness #1 was sitting on a bench in front of Ruby Tuesday’s on Atlantic
Avenues when he/she saw an ACPD car turn right onto Arkansas from Atlantic Avenue.
He/she got up from bench to see what was going on and stood by a planter at Atlantic
and Arkansas Avenues and saw 2 or 3 people sitting on the ground. When the officers
pulled the vehicle up in front of the people on the ground, Officer #2 exited the
passenger side. Witness #1 heard a gunshot and saw Officer #2 fall to the ground.
He/she then saw Officer #1 fire at the male who had shot Officer #2.
Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office P.O. Box 2002 4997 Unami Boulevard, Suite 2
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Phone: (609)-909-7800 Fax: (609)-909-7802

Witness #2 was a private security guard patrolling the parking lot of Trump Plaza
in a golf cart when he/she heard gunshots A male, later identified as the Suspect came
out of the Caesar’s parking garage and was pointing a gun at him/her. The Suspect
forced Witness #2 out of the golf cart and drove it away, driving around the Trump Plaza
parking lot. He was unable to exit the lot so he abandoned the golf cart and walked
towards Caesar’s. Witness #2 followed the Suspect towards the Caesar’s bus lobby
outside entrance where the Suspect lay down near some bushes. Witness #2 called
police. Within moments, police found the Suspect lying next to the bushes near the
Caesar’s entrance on Missouri and Pacific Avenues. Emergency medical personnel
responded to the location, and the Suspect was subsequently pronounced dead at the
scene.
During the course of the investigation, Major Crimes detectives recovered
videotape footage from two cameras mounted on the exterior of Ruby Tuesday’s
Restaurant. This video footage captured the shooting of Officer #2, and of Officer #1
returning fire as he/she is being fired upon by the Suspect. Visible in the footage is the
Suspect pointing a firearm at Officer #1 as he is running from the scene. The muzzle
flash of at least two shots taken by the Suspect firing on Officer #1 as the Suspect is
running from the scene is also captured on the video.
Still images from this video segment are set out below:

Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office P.O. Box 2002 4997 Unami Boulevard, Suite 2
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Phone: (609)-909-7800 Fax: (609)-909-7802

Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office P.O. Box 2002 4997 Unami Boulevard, Suite 2
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Phone: (609)-909-7800 Fax: (609)-909-7802

Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office P.O. Box 2002 4997 Unami Boulevard, Suite 2
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Phone: (609)-909-7800 Fax: (609)-909-7802

During the investigation, police located a black revolver in the Trump Plaza
surface lot, near the location where the Suspect stole Witness #2’s golf cart. The
revolver had been loaded with 6 bullets, 4 of which had been fired. The physical
appearance and color of the gun matched the descriptions given by both officers, all
three victims and Witness #2. The ACPO Forensics Unit was able to lift latent
fingerprints from the revolver. Those prints were matched to the Suspect. Additionally,
the New Jersey State Police Laboratory performed forensic analysis on a bullet
fragment recovered from Officer #2’s head during surgery immediately after the
incident. That fragment was forensically matched to the recovered revolver.
The autopsy performed on the Suspect determined he had sustained one bullet
wound to the upper right back. The location of the wound was consistent with the digital
video evidence which captured the incident, showing that the Suspect was turning back
towards Officer #1 with his right arm and pointing the gun towards Officer #1 as he was
running away.
Immediately after the shooting incident and the location of the Suspect’s body,
the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office began a county wide search for the other two
suspects ultimately identified as Chisolm and Cross.
Multiple federal, state, county and municipal departments joined the effort to
locate these two individuals which eventually spanned into Cumberland County. With
the assistance and efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey State
Police, NJSP TEAMS, the Attorney General’s Atlantic City Task Force and Division of
Criminal Justice Casino Unit, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, the Atlantic
County Sheriff’s Department, the Atlantic County Justice Facility, the Pleasantville,
Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, and Hammonton Police Departments, Chisolm and
Cross were located by the afternoon of September 3, 2016.
Cross and Chisolm were charged with 2 counts of Attempted Murder (of the two
police officers)—a 1st degree crime, 3 counts of Robbery—1st degree, 2 counts of
Conspiracy to Commit Robbery—1st degree, 2 counts of Possession of a Weapon
(Firearm) for an Unlawful Purpose—2nd degree, and 2 counts of Conspiracy to Commit
Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose—a 2nd degree crime.
Those charges are pending review by a different grand jury panel.
The potential penalty for conviction of a 1 st degree crime is 10-20 years of
incarceration in New Jersey State prison, and for a 2nd degree conviction: 5-10 years.

Diane M. Ruberton, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor

Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office P.O. Box 2002 4997 Unami Boulevard, Suite 2
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Phone: (609)-909-7800 Fax: (609)-909-7802