"I want to give myself up because I'm lying in a pool of my blood and I can't move," Richard Poplawski, 24, told an Allegheny County 911 operator on April 4, 2009, after a police sniper wounded him in the leg as he held police at bay after the deaths of the officers who responded when his mother called to report that they were arguing.
UPDATES: WPXI's Live Courtroom Updates VIDEO: Poplawski Shootout Heard During Live WPXI Report VIDEO: Teen Says Poplawski Told Him 'I Shot 3 Cops' VIDEO: Poplawski: 'I'm Going To Jail One Way Or Another' SLIDESHOW: Courtroom Sketches; Evidence Photos
"I'm not shooting any more cops because my weapons are out of ammunition and disabled," he said, according to the recording played for the jury Tuesday on the second day of Poplawski's capital murder trial.
Poplawski's rambling and sometimes bizarre 911 call -- at one point, he told a dispatcher that he had just hung up on a bill collector who happened to call during the ordeal -- was eventually transferred to Sgt. Craig Campbell, a police negotiator whose recorded 50-minute conversation was also played in court.
"I don't want to end any more officers' lives," Poplawski told Campbell, who developed a calm rapport by calling Poplawski "pal" and "buddy." Campbell was coaxing Poplawski to crawl from the bedroom, where he was shot, to a front room where a SWAT team could see him raise his hands in front of a shot-out picture window.
"I'm not going to shoot any more innocent officers," Poplawski assured Campbell.
Campbell tracked Poplawski's progress inside the house by having Poplawski describe what he saw in the house -- most notably, the body of Officer Paul Sciullo II laying in the front doorway where, prosecutors contend, he was gunned down when answering Margaret Poplawski's dispute call about 7:15 a.m.
Campbell kept telling Poplawski to put his hands in the air near a window or the door so officers knew he was unarmed. As Poplawski moved toward the living room, Campbell asked him what he was seeing so officers knew where he was.
"I see a (expletive) cop on the ground and an exercise machine," Poplawski said.
Members of the SWAT team said Poplawski eventually walked out of the home with his hands up.
Prosecutors are seeking a first-degree murder conviction in the deaths of Sciullo and two other officers, including Stephen Mayhle, who backed up Sciullo and managed to fire at Poplawski before being killed. The third officer killed, Eric Kelly, had arrived home -- about two blocks from Poplawski's residence -- after an overnight shift but went to help the others when he heard radio calls about the shootings.
Poplawski's public defender, Lisa Middleman, has stopped short of denying his role in the shootings but told the jury in her opening statement that some witnesses and physical evidence will contradict the police version of events. Police contend that Poplawski was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, a .357 Magnum, and an AK-47 assault rifle, though Middleman has suggested that the rifle either wasn't used or played only a limited role.
But testimony about the phone calls Tuesday appeared to support several key aspects of the police version of events.
Michael Bogert, then a 16-year-old friend of Poplawski's -- and, coincidentally, the son of a city police officer -- testified that he called Poplawski's cell phone after friends told him that TV news stations were reporting a shooting in his neighborhood.
"Pop, what are you doing?" Bogert said he asked when Poplawski answered, about 45 minutes before the armed standoff ended.
"Nothing. I got shot, I shot three cops," Bogert said Poplawski told him. "I'm probably going to bleed to death and go to jail for the rest of my life."
After Poplawski called 911, he complained to Campbell that his leg wound made it hard for him to move to an area of the house where he could safely be seen by SWAT officers outside. Asked if he had anything he could wave in front of a window as a signal, Poplawski cursed back saying, "I got a (double-expletive) slipper! I can't show you my hands, I can't (expletive) do it."
In an effort to convince Campbell that he was now unarmed, Poplawski went on to say, "Someone shot that AK and it's completely" wrecked --though he used yet another expletive to express that fact.
Earlier Tuesday, SWAT sniper William Friburger testified that he had shot some kind of rifle barrel protruding from the curtains of the bedroom where Poplawski was wounded. Middleman had tried to cast doubt on Friburger's suggestion that the gun was likely the AK-47, based on what he could see of the barrel.
Poplawski surrendered a short time later, telling the negotiator, "You know, I'm a good kid, officer," and offering an apology of sorts.
"This is really an unfortunate occurrence, sir."
Previous Stories: June 21, 2011: Injured Officer Eric Kelly: 'Tell My Wife, Kids I Love Them' June 21, 2011: Poplawski Trial Day 2: WPXI's Courtroom Updates June 21, 2011: Teen Says Poplawski Told Him 'I Shot 3 Cops'