Members of California’s gaming community are showing their support for a Philadelphia Police officer who was shot and killed while buying a video game for his son.
Officer Robert Wilson III died Thursday after being gunned down during an attempted robbery at a North Philadelphia GameStop store. He was 30-years-old.
The 8-year veteran assigned to the 22nd District was in the store doing a security check and was in the process of buying a game for his 9-year-old son when the gunmen entered.
Police called Wilson a hero who drew away fire from store employees and continued to shoot at both suspects, even after being hit. Two brothers, 30-year-old Carlton Hipps and 26-year-old Ramone Williams, have been charged with the officer's murder.
Touched by Wilson’s story, Paul Punla, a blogger, video game dealer and collector from San Diego, California created a fundraiser for the officer’s two sons, calling on California’s gaming community to help.
“Nowadays gamers are labeled as lonesome and selfish individuals and I want to change that assumption,” Punla told NBC10. “The ultimate goal is to simply help a family in need.”
Punla also said his own personal relationship with law enforcement inspired him to create the fund.
“I am close friends with a lot of armed forces personnel and my brother has been serving in the USAF for almost 20 years now,” Punla said.
Punla went into detail regarding how the donations will be dispersed.
“As soon as someone donates, they see my business account so right there they can already see who it’s going to,” he said. “I am planning to giveaway as "reward levels" different video game memorabilia/games/promotional items to those who contribute certain amounts. From Skylanders to PS4 games, to books and posters. I have so my things collected over the years I figured why not give them away and raise money at the same time?”
Another trust fund was also set up for Wilson’s 8-year-old and 1-year-old son Friday. The fund is being managed by the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made in person at the following branches:
- 901 Arch Street
- 7604 City Avenue
- 8500 Henry Avenue
- Leo Mall, Byberry and Bustleton Avenue
- 7500 Castor Avenue
- 3300 Grant Avenue
Checks can be mailed and made payable to:
The Robert Wilson III Family Memorial Trust Fund
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia PA, 19107