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North Philly police officer shot dead in robbery attempt

Wilson, 30, was shot several times at close range.

By Amy R. Connolly
North Philly police officer shot dead in robbery attempt
Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III, an 8-year department veteran, was gunned down during a robbery attempt at a video game store. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia police.

PHILADELPHIA, March 6 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III, an 8-year department veteran and father of two, was gunned down during a robbery attempt at a video game store. Two suspects are in custody.

Wilson, 30, was shot several times at close range after he went inside a Game Stop store about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, as part of his patrol duties, police said. Moments later, two armed men burst into the store and announced a robbery. Wilson was in full uniform and was shot at least twice. Police confirmed that one of the shots hit Wilson in the head.

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"We don't know if they knew he was a police officer or not," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. "We suspect, perhaps, they did not."

Law enforcement officials said Wilson confronted the two men, leading to a shootout. The suspects were on both sides of Wilson as he continued to fire at them. Wilson's partner Officer Damien Stevenson, also exchanged gunfire with an assailant outside the store. It is not clear if he was injured.

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"Even though he was being struck multiple times, he continued to fire until the fatal [[shot]] was fired," Ramsey said.

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One of the suspects was taken to a local hospital with gunshot wounds to the leg. The other tried to walk away and blend into the crowd, but was caught. Police did not identify the men.

The last Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty was Moses Walker Jr., shot on Aug. 18, 2012, during a robbery attempt.

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