Shakira Wilson-Burroughs broke down in tears as she remembered her brother, Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III.
“I lost more than a brother,” she said. “He was my first friend, my true friend. I miss him.”
Shakira along with the officer’s grandmother Constance Wilson are speaking out for the first time since his death Thursday. Officer Wilson was inside a North Philadelphia GameStop store buying a video game for his son when two gunmen entered, officials said.
Wilson and the suspects “engaged in a fierce and violent gun battle” that resulted in the officer being shot multiple times, according to investigators.
Shakira shared her initial reaction when she first heard an officer in the 22nd District was shot.
“I texted him, ‘are you okay?’” she said. “I didn’t get anything back.”
Shakira soon learned the devastating truth. Her brother, a father of a 9-year-old and 1-year-old, had died from a gunshot wound to the head.
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.
“Everything that my brother achieved, they could’ve achieved,” Shakira said. “I’m tired of it! What did you really think you were getting from GameStop? You trudged through the snow to rob a GameStop! You could trudge through the snow to get a job!”
On Saturday, Shakira and Constance invited NBC10 into their West Philadelphia home, where Wilson’s citations for commendable police work adorn the walls. Constance also showed us a picture she took when her grandson finished the Police Academy in 2006.
“This is what he wanted to do,” Constance said. “He loved to do it. So we supported him.”
Though the West Philadelphia High School graduate knew the dangers of policing, Constance says he wasn’t afraid and that law enforcement was in his blood.
“My dad was a sergeant in Lawnside, New Jersey years ago,” said Constance. “My sister is with the Sheriff’s Department. I have a nephew that’s on the Camden Police Department.”
As for the two men accused of killing Officer Wilson, the family says they want justice.
“I don’t have my parents,” Shakira said. “They still have their family and brothers. I don’t have my brother.”
Shakira and Constance say they ultimately want Officer Wilson to be remembered for his love for his family and his dedication as a police officer.
A mass to honor the fallen officer will take place Sunday at St. Martin De Porres Church in North Philadelphia on Lehigh Ave. in North Philadelphia at 10 a.m.
A trust fund was also set up for Wilson’s two sons. 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