Police Officer Robert Wilson III entered a Northern Philadelphia GameStop on Thursday afternoon because he wanted to buy his nine-year-old son a video game. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said that the gift from Wilson was meant to be a reward for the little boy improving his school grades. While Robert was there, two men entered the business and announced that a robbery was taking place. What followed was chaos.
Capt. James Clark said during a press conference that Wilson “became engaged in a fierce and violent gun battle with both armed suspects.”
The two men have since been identified as brothers Ramone Williams and Carlton Hipps. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the two men have since confessed to killing Robert Wilson, and both men are charged with murdering him.
Ramone, the younger brother, admitted that neither he nor Carlton were aware that there was a police officer in the store. They were allegedly unaware of Robert, his partner, or their squad car prior to attempting to rob the GameStop.
Ramsey said that Wilson moved so that the unarmed civilians were not in the line of fire when the shooting began. The entire violent confrontation was captured on the video game store’s video cameras.
http://t.co/ImJPp12nfV 501c3 Trust Fund Fundraiser 4 Philly PO Robert Wilson III’s family. He was killed in GameStop. pic.twitter.com/Na67gaIBQ4
— OfficerDown.us (@OfficerDown1199) March 6, 2015
The commissioner said that Robert Wilson was “an out and out hero” who fought for his life and the other persons in the video game store “until the very end.” Despite being hit multiple times and “wincing in pain,” Robert did not run for cover and continued to return fire. It was a gunshot to the head which brought the shootout to a tragic end.
Despite the horrific nature of the events, the entire shootout was over in nearly 30 seconds.
When Wilson went down, Williams and Hipps ran for the door. It was then that the two assailants were confronted by Robert Wilson’s partner, Officer Damien Stevenson. Stevenson hit one of the suspects in the leg, and the man was taken to an area hospital for treatment. The other brother was taken into police custody.
Wilson was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
— David Bonk (@PPDDaveBonk) March 6, 2015
Philadelphia law enforcement officers expressed their dismay and grief at the loss of Wilson, who was engaged to be married. Ramsey said that Robert was the father of two children, ages nine and one.
“This nine-year-old is going to grow up without a father because of what happened. [T]his 1-year-old is going to grow up without a dad.”
[Image Credit: AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department]