Honoring a Hero: Friends, Family Remember Sergeant Robert Wilson III on 1-Year Anniversary of His Death

Friends and family honored a hero on the one-year anniversary of his death.

A vigil for Philadelphia Police Sergeant Robert Wilson III began Saturday at 4 p.m. on 1747 North 17th Street in Philadelphia. Wilson's family and friends sat in the front row as Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross spoke on his bravery and legacy. The crowd also released balloons into the air in Wilson's honor.

"There's no greater love a man has than to lay down his life for others," Kenney said.

The event took place exactly one year after Wilson was shot and killed while trying to thwart a robbery inside a store.

On March 5, 2015, Wilson and his partner were conducting a security check of the GameStop store on the 2100 block of West Lehigh Avenue. While Wilson was inside picking up a gift for his son, Carlton Hipps, 29, and his 25-year-old half-brother Ramone Williams entered the store, according to investigators.

The two suspects allegedly took out handguns and announced a robbery. They then surrounded Officer Wilson and opened fire at point blank range, according to investigators. Police say Wilson, despite being struck several times, returned fire, engaging in a shootout with the suspects.

Wilson’s partner, who was outside at the time, ran into the store and fired at one of the suspects, striking his leg as he attempted to flee. The second suspect tried to escape as well but was apprehended by responding officers, police said.

Wilson was taken to Temple University Hospital where he died from his injuries.

"He chose to make that decision to become an officer, to protect," said Wilson's sister Shakira Wilson-Borroughs. "Officers including him, they are people. Lives are precious." 

Wilson received numerous posthumous honors for his actions including a medal of valor and a Police Hero plaque. He was also promoted to sergeant.

Officer Jonny Castro, the new Forensic Graphic Artist for the Philadelphia Police Department, also created a digital painting in Wilson’s honor.

“I painted this portrait of him in remembrance of what he did for us all,” Castro said.

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This beautiful digital painting of Sgt. Robert Wilson III was just completed by Officer Jonny Castro - the PPD's new -...

Posted by Philadelphia Police Department on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Both Hipps and Williams could face the death penalty for Wilson’s killing.

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