Atlantic City police Officer Kevin B. Wilkins, who died of an accidental gunshot from his service weapon while on duty Thursday morning, was a former high school basketball star who was preparing to marry and buy a home. His former coach, Gene Allen, said Wilkins was like a son to me. Basketball is what brought us together, but our relationship was just extremely close, said Allen, who coached Wilkins beginning with his freshman year at Atlantic City High School. I was so proud of him when he became a police officer because, I thought he would make an impact in our community. Wilkins, a Venice Park resident, was sitting in his patrol car about 1:30 a.m. at Kentucky and Baltic avenues, outside the Stanley Holmes Village apartment complex, police said. He had removed the clip of extra bullets in his semi-automatic pistols handle to install a rubber sleeve on the grip, but he accidentally discharged the remaining bullet in the chamber. The bullet struck him in the face, police said. Chambered bullets are not readily visible in semi-automatic firearms. Police did not say whether the safety was engaged. Other officers were nearby and summoned medical help, but Wilkins was pronounced dead 15 minutes later, police said. Wilkins, 31, was the first city officer killed while working in five years.