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Richmond Officer on trial for murder: ‘I didn’t want to be a victim’

Posted at 1:57 PM, Jun 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 18:40:52-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Richmond Police officer broke down on the stand Thursday while he talked about the moment he learned the teenager he shot at a Chesterfield car wash had died.

Thursday marked the third day of trial for David Cobb. The 47-year-old Richmond Police officer is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr.

Cobb pleaded not guilty at Chesterfield County Circuit Court  on Tuesday.

"My intent was not to kill Brown," Cobb said fighting back tears, "My intent was to stop a threat."

David Cobb (PHOTO: Chesterfield Police)

David Cobb (PHOTO: Chesterfield Police)

The nine-year Richmond Police Department veteran was off-duty the morning of October 17, 2015, when he fatally shot Brown at the Sunoco gas station on Midlothian Turnpike, according to police.

It was there, that police said Brown entered the car of the off-duty officer's girlfriend and drove it through the car wash.

Cobb admitted to shooting and killing the teenager, but only because he thought Brown had a weapon and was a threat to himself and others.

Paterson Brown Jr.

Paterson Brown Jr.

Brown had marijuana in his system that day, according to a forensic expert.

After identifying himself as an off-duty Richmond Police officer, Cobb said Brown yelled out 'I don't f*** with the ops."

Cobb testified that he recognized that phrase as a common saying among Blood gang members due to his experience as a gang specialist.

Cobb told the jury that he asked a car wash attendant to call 911 in order to have Chesterfield County officers on scene and take over.

He said he only pulled the trigger after Brown reached across his waist and ignored his repeated orders to stop moving.

"I didn't want to be a causality," Cobb cried, "I didn't want to be a victim."

Prosecutors said Brown was unarmed and believe the officer's intentions were to prevent the teen from stealing the car.

The jury was expected to get the case Thursday afternoon but has been sent home for the night.