Police Officer Robert Wilson, III
Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania
End of Watch: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Tour of Duty: 8 years
Badge Number: 9990
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: March 5, 2015
Weapon Used: Handgun
Suspect Info: In custody
Agency Contact Information
Commissioner Charles Ramsey
Philadelphia Police Department
One Franklin Square
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 686-1776
Police Officer Robert Wilson was shot and killed when he and his partner interrupted a robbery at a video game store at 2101 West Lehigh Avenue at approximately 4:45 pm.
The officers were conducting a security check of the businesses in the strip mall and had parked in front of the store. Officer Wilson went into the store to conduct the security check and to buy a video game for one of his sons. While he was inside two brothers entered the store and announced a robbery, not noticing Officer Wilson inside or the patrol car parked out front.
Officer Wilson immediately announced himself. He exchanged shots with the two brothers as he drew fire away from the customers and employees. He was struck three times during the shootout in which over 50 shots were fired. The two men then exited the store where they were engaged in a shootout with Officer Wilson’s partner, who had remained in the patrol car. One of the subjects was wounded during the second shootout.
Both men were arrested and charged with Officer Wilson’s murder. One of the brothers was on parole for robbery at the time and both had extensive criminal histories.
Officer Wilson had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for eight years. He is survived by his wife and two young sons.
There’s so much clutter out there some days you have to cling to the few essential truths. There’s none more essential than this: All violence is senseless. It doesn’t just destroy the victim — it rips out the heart of families, communities…and a civil society.
This afternoon, Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III, an eight-year veteran of the force, was on the job, patrolling one of the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods in North Philadelphia when he happened on a robbery in a video store at 22nd and Lehigh. Shots were fired, and a heartless punk fired the bullet that claimed Officer Wilson’s life. He was just 30 years old, father to a 9-year-old son and a 1-year-old son who will grow up now without a father coming home every night.
And for what?
By all accounts, Officer Wilson was devoted to making Philadelphia safer — and better. He was also committed to some of the policing reforms that have been in the news in recent months, even making the news as one of the first city police officers to wear a body cam while on patrol.
His loss diminishes all of us. My heart goes out to his children, his family, his colleagues, and all who knew him.