Tastykake deliveryman Kyle Winkfield yesterday told a Common Pleas Court jury of his struggle with two men in an alleged holdup last year in West Philadelphia that nearly killed him after one man fired a bullet into his chest.
On the opening day of the trial of alleged shooter Carlos Petty, now 17, of Kingsessing in Southwest Philadelphia, Winkfield testified that about 2:40 p.m. March 16, he had just left Nadia's Market at 62nd and Vine streets and stepped into the passenger's side of his Tastykake truck.
That's when he saw one of "two gentlemen," who had been standing by the store, run up behind him, he testified.
In court, Winkfield, now 21, appearing recovered from his critical injuries and dressed in a gray suit, red shirt and tie, identified Petty as the young man who ran up behind him.
Winkfield, formerly of West Philadelphia, testified that he tried unsuccessfully to lock the passenger-side door, while Petty was trying to open it. Then, Winkfield said, he rushed to get out from the driver's side. That's where the second "gentleman" blocked his escape, he said.
"I'm pushing him out of the way, wrestling with him," Winkfield testified. Police are still searching for the second man.
"The next thing I know, a gunshot went off," Winkfield testified, identifying Petty as the shooter who "put up his arm and aimed at me" with a gun he had "tucked in his sleeve." Afterward, he said, they fled without taking anything.
Police Officer Madeleine Mazie testified that when she arrived at the shooting scene, she found Winkfield on the ground, "going in and out of consciousness."
Fearing that Winkfield wouldn't make it if he wasn't rushed to a hospital immediately, Mazie organized a rescue effort in which Winkfield was placed in the back of her police van and another police vehicle escorted her van to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
At HUP, Winkfield grabbed Mazie's arm. "Please don't let me die," he said, according to Mazie.
Assistant District Attorney Leon Goodman, in his opening statement, told the 10 women and two men on the jury that they should find Petty guilty of attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy and weapons offenses.
When police showed Winkfield a photo spread at HUP a few days after the shooting, "one face jumps out," Goodman said. "A face he will never forget. The face of the young man [Petty] sitting in this courtroom."
Winkfield confirmed on the witness stand that he had identified Petty in the photo spread at HUP and later at a police lineup. He said Petty was wearing a red hoodie at the time of the shooting, with the hood up but not fully covering the braids in his long hair.
"As soon as I seen this one picture, I just knew it" to be that of the shooter's face, Winkfield said.
In court, Petty's hair was close-cropped, without braids.
Defense attorney David Dougherty in his opening statement questioned the accuracy of Winkfield's identification of Petty. He also told jurors that he will introduce witnesses who will testify that "Petty was at home with family members at the time the incident happened. He had an alibi."