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March 05, 2016

Police honor fallen Philly officer on anniversary of death

Vigil set for Robert Wilson III

Police Robert Wilson III
12242015_Robert_Wilson_III_200 Source/Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police Sgt. Robert Wilson III was killed in the line of duty in March 2015.

Members of the Philadelphia Police Department, media and city residents took to social media Saturday to honor the memory of fallen Officer Robert Wilson III on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Wilson was killed in the line of duty on March 5, 2015, trying to protect customers inside a North Philly GameStop store from two armed men attempting a robbery.

City officials will hold a vigil for Wilson at 4 p.m. outside the 22nd District on North 17th Street, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

At memorial services held following his killing, city officials referred to Wilson, an eight-year veteran assigned to the 22nd District, as a "hero."

That sentiment was echoed Saturday by law enforcement officials, citizens and journalists who took the time to remember his service on such a somber date.

To honor the fallen officer, the Philadelphia Police Department changed its profile picture Saturday to a photo of Wilson.

Wilson has been memorialized for his brave efforts with a plaque outside the GameStop on Lehigh Avenue near 21st Street. 

Additionally, more than $35,000 was raised through an online fundraiser for the family Wilson left behind, which includes two young children.

On the day of the shooting that took Wilson's life, he was inside the store buying his son a video game for getting good grades.

Two brothers -- Ramone Williams, 25, and Carlton Hipps, 30 -- entered while Wilson was making the purchase.

Armed with semi-automatic weapons, the two started firing when they saw Wilson. Wilson shot back and continued firing even after being struck, police said at the time.

About 50 shots were fired during the incident. Wilson was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Williams and Hipps were charged with murder and a pretrial conference is set for later this month, the Inquirer reports.