A vigil and balloon release will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday in honor of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Robert Wilson III, who was shot to death two years ago during an attempted robbery at a GameStop in North Philly.
The ceremony will take place at the 22nd Police District at 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue, in North Philadelphia, where Wilson had served.
Wilson, 30, an eight-year veteran with the department, had gone into the store, on Lehigh Avenue near 21st Street, about 5 p.m. March 5, 2015, to buy a gift for his older son, who was about to turn 10. The on-duty officer also planned to do a security check at the store.
Two brothers, Ramone Williams and Carlton Hipps, , entered the store and announced a robbery while the officer was at the counter, authorities have said.
Upon seeing the officer, Williams fired at him, the officer fired back, and Hipps also began to shoot, prosecutors have said. While a gunbattle raged on, seven civilians — shoppers and store workers —crouched behind the counter in fear for their lives.
Wilson, called a hero for saving the civilians' lives, collapsed and died inside the store. (He was posthumously promoted from officer to sergeant.)
The two gunmen ran outside. Wilson's partner, Officer Damien Stevenson, who had heard gunshots and got out of their patrol car, engaged in a gunbattle with Hipps, shooting him in the leg, prosecutors have said.
Williams ran back into the store and tried to hide behind the counter and blend in with the shoppers and store workers, but they instead pointed him out to a responding officer, authorities have said.
Williams, now 26, and Hipps, now 31, both of Brewerytown, face trial on murder and related charges. They have a pretrial conference April 27 but their trial has not yet been scheduled.
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