When Officer Robert Wilson III hugged his 9-year-old son before leaving the house, all he was thinking about was the smile on his son’s face that night when he returned from buying him a gift.
However, little did he know that this would be their last good bye.
Hours later that afternoon, Wilson was gunned down mercilessly as he and his partner interrupted an attempted robbery at a North Philadelphia Gamestop. At that time, Wilson was making a security check and thought he would pick up a game at the quiet Gamestop to reward his son for getting good grades.
The two would-be robbers, brothers Ramone Williams, 24, and Carlton Hipps, 29, stormed in at 4.30 PM in spite of the police patrol car parked in plain sight outside the store. They also did not see Wilson inside, but when confronted by the brave police officer, they fired relentlessly with their semi-automatic weapons.
As much as 50 shots were fired during the heated exchange, culminating in the robbers trying to escape the store. One of the suspect was shot while his brother ran out of the Gamestop, where Wilson’s partner met him with more gunshots. He managed to flee and attempted to blend into the nearby crowd but recognized and apprehended by backup police officers.
Back at the store, help arrived for the seriously injured Wilson, but it was too late. Wilson, an 8-year veteran with the 22nd District, died from a single shot to the head despite being rushed to Temple University Hospital. He also sustained injuries in various parts of his body as a result of being shot multiple times at close range.
“Officer Robert Wilson was the true definition of a hero and warrior,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. “The cameras clearly showed him moving away from the shoppers in Gamestop to protect them from the fierce gunfire. Despite being shot multiple times, he never wavered and shot back at the robbers, until the fatal bullet that put an end to his life was fired.”
Since the incident, donations have been pouring in for Wilson’s son and 1-year-old baby. Actor Dan Aykroyd, who was in town for an event, pledged to donate to a trust fund set up for the slain officer’s children. “My company will also make a contribution so that the money will be channeled towards the young boys’ vital education and necessities, but nothing can change the fact that they have lost a loving, brave father.”
In the wake of incidences like the one where Alabama police officer Eric Parker almost paralyzing an Indian grandfather during a sidewalk stop, it’s news like this that instills confidence in the public that police brutality is not an everyday occurrence.
A GoFundMe fundraising campaign has just been set up for Officer Wilson and as of now has collected $120 in donations.