Philadelphia police officer shot and killed during attempted robbery

Philadelphia police officer shot and killed during attempted robbery
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, above, asked the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 to look into an increase in fatal shootings by the city's officers. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

A Philadelphia police officer was shot and killed Thursday during a gun battle with two assailants during a robbery attempt, officials said.

Officer Robert Wilson was in uniform inside a video game store around 4:30 p.m. when two men entered and "announced a robbery," according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.


Ramsey told reporters that Wilson immediately engaged the suspects, both of whom opened fire.

Wilson, 30, was struck several times, but continued firing at the suspects, Ramsey said. His partner exchanged gunfire with the suspects seconds after Wilson was shot, wounding one of them, Ramsey said.

Both have been arrested. Ramsey said one suspect was being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

One of the suspects had five prior arrests, Ramsey said, and the other was on parole at the time of the shooting. Investigators recovered two handguns at the scene, he said.

It was unclear why Wilson was in the video game store.

"He was doing his duty as a police officer trying to protect the citizens of this city," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters. "He has a family. He was a part of our family."

Wilson was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital at 6:25 p.m.

He is survived by two children, ages 1 and 9, and had been a police officer for eight years, police said.

Ramsey said he had met Wilson and his partner because both had volunteered to wear body cameras as part of a pilot program within the department. It was not clear whether the officers were wearing the cameras at the time of the shooting, or whether footage of the attack had been recovered.

"I knew him, had met him. He was one of the best police officers this city has to offer. Period," Ramsey said. "A very, very brave, heroic individual."

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for breaking news