UPDATE 12/18/14: Fuquay defendant says he shot confronter as he reached for knife
UPDATE 12/17/14: Fuquay man claims he shot neighborhood bully in self-defense
Jerome Fogg's second mistake was in bringing a knife to a gunfight. This week in a Wake County courtroom, Fogg, a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter known as Bam-Bam to Fuquay-Varina police, testified against Justin Bass, who allegedly shot Fogg last summer.
Bass, 25, is charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury.
The charges stem from a late-night shooting at the Bay Tree apartment complex in Fuquay-Varina.
The incident left Fogg, 27, injured from five bullet wounds, including one to the chest and two to the abdomen. He somehow survived.
For his part, Bass is expected to testify that he shot Fogg, who was carrying a knife that night, in self-defense.
The beef started a week prior, when Fogg made his first mistake. Then 240 pounds, Fogg punched Bass in the face after they argued over an improper gang handshake. He broke Bass' jaw in two places, requiring doctors to wire it shut. That same night, Fogg also decapitated a cat, according to an apartment complex security guard.
A week later on July 4, a Bay Tree resident testified to being awoken about 1 a.m. by commotion in the parking lot. Through her peep-hole, she saw a man with orange sneakers darting around, and then heard the sound of "pop-pop-pop-pop," she testified. Another resident, the daughter of a woman known as Ms. Fat, was outside, screaming.
The resident who testified recalled seeing Fogg collapse against Ms. Fat's building. She dialed 911.
A Bay Tree security guard testified that he was at a cookout with several people, including a man named Big Moe, when he heard the gunshots and ran toward the sound.
The guard testified that he saw Bass holding a gun while sprinting away from the scene. Bass then climbed into a getaway car.
Devon Miree-Walker testified that he was with Fogg that night and saw the shooting. Miree-Walker had met Fogg in jail six months prior, after Miree-Walker had been arrested for sexual exploitation of a minor. Fogg became a mentor to him in jail.
Around midnight, Miree-Walker testified, he and Fogg drove to the complex, which Fogg described as a place with "uplifting and positive people."
Apparently looking for Bass, Fogg approached a man known as Little Gangsta, who pointed toward another apartment, Miree-Walker testified.
(Fogg testified he'd gone there to meet his friend Fat Boy.)
Moments later, a confrontation broke out between Fogg and Bass. The two men faced off from about 6 feet, for about 10 minutes, according to Miree-Walker.
During the standoff, Bass reportedly was complaining about his broken jaw. "He was mumbling, I guess because his mouth was messed up," Fogg recalled.
"You look like you wanna pull out a strap," Fogg reportedly told Bass.
Bass brandished a gun, which apparently prompted Fogg to say, "If you gotta shoot, then shoot."
So Bass started shooting, according to Miree-Walker.
Fogg was struck by at least three bullets, three of which lodged inside his body. After the first shot penetrated his chest, Fogg testified, "I said, 'You shot me, mothafucka.' He shot me again. I said, 'You shot me again.' Then he shot me in the groin."
Fogg staggered, tried to make a phone call and then slumped against Ms. Fat's building. He was rushed to the hospital and went into a coma. An emergency surgeon testified that he had never pumped so much blood into a patient.
On the witness stand, a Fuquay-Varina police officer displayed the knife that Fogg had stashed inside his pants that night.
The knife appeared to be more than 2 feet long, with a jagged blade. The officer, who was the first responder to the scene, testified that he recognized Fogg while he was trying to stop his bleeding.
Testimony is to continue Wednesday, with Bass expected to take the stand this week.
Keep up on this case on the INDY's news blog.
This article appeared in print with the headline "A handshake, a beef, and later, five shots"