Obama honoring slain Philly cop with highest law enforcement medal

Obama honoring slain Philly cop with highest law enforcement medal
Charles Mostoller

Sgt. Robert F. Wilson III, the Philadelphia police officer killed in a hail of gunfire after interrupting an armed robbery, will be posthumously honored by President Barack Obama.

Obama will award the Medal of Valor to Wilson and 12 others during a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Monday morning, the White House said.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest national award given to public safety officers “who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm,” the White House said.

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The White House said Wilson will get the Medal of Valor “for giving his life to protect innocent civilians. Sergeant Wilson put himself in harm’s way during an armed robbery, drawing fire from the assailants and suffering a mortal wound as he kept store employees and customers safe.”

Wilson, an officer with the 22nd District, was shot to death on March 5, 2015 inside a Gamestop at 21st Street and Lehigh Avenue, by two armed robbers.

Wilson had entered the store to get a present for his son when, according to police, brothers Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams entered intending to rob the store, not knowing an on-duty police officer was inside.

Former police commissioner Charles Ramsey said Wilson moved towards the two men to draw their attention away from customers and staff inside the store, before both opened fire.

Wilson died that night. Ramone and Hipps were both arrested shortly after the shooting.

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Surveillance video of the shooting has never been released.

Wilson was posthumously promoted from officer to sergeant, and the Philadelphia Medal of Valor award was renamed The Robert F. Wilson Medal in his honor.

Wilson, an officer with eight years on the force, left behind two sons, Robert Wilson IV and Quahmier.

Hipps and Williams, who were allegedly on a robbery spree in the months leading up to Wilson’s murder, are both awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges for the officer’s death.