Local News

Raleigh Officer Takes The Stand Against Man Accused Of Shooting Him

Posted December 4, 2001 7:08 a.m. EST

— An off-duty Raleigh police officer who was shot five times while working as a security guard took the stand Tuesday in a Wake County Courtroom.

Officer David Powell testified against the man accused of shooting him outside of the Top Rank Sports Bar in southeast Raleigh on July 28.

Powell testified that a car pulled up to the club and he waved his flashlight to tell the car to move on. Powell said that as he approached the car, shots were fired.

"It was just a fast motion. He just lifted up and started shooting," Powell testified.

The officer said that he thought that he was going to die.

"It felt like an assasination attempt, the way that it happened. I didn't know the guy and for him to shoot me like, it just felt like it was a murder for hire," Powell said.

Custodio Ramirez, 22, is charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

In court, Ramirez, who speaks Spanish, wore headphones so a translator could help him understand the court proceedings.

"If this guy hadn't been arrested, I just felt like he was going to come back and finish the job. So it was a big relief once I found out he had been arrested," Powell said.

Other witnesses who testified included another off-duty officer who was working at the bar at the time of the shooting.

Officer Archie McLeod said that he had words with Ramirez several months before the shooting.

Powell said he never saw Ramirez prior to the shooting.

A bystander who was hit in the leg also took the witness stand.

The state finished presenting its evidence on Tuesday. The defense chose not to present evidence. Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

Powell is recovering slowly, but said that he hopes to return to work in some capacity in the spring.