Law enforcement in the United States has been under some rough times these days, but a recent killing of a police officer in a North Philadelphia GameStop has prompted the videogame retailer to start a donation drive for the man’s family.
The incident occurred last Thursday at 4.30pm at the GameStop at Hope Plaza Shopping Center. The police officer, Robert Wilson III, entered the GameStop to check on the store and to buy a gift for his 8-year-old son as a reward for his stellar performance at school.
Shortly after, a pair of fine human specimens, brothers Calrton Hipps and Ramone Williams, entered the store and announced to everyone inside their intent to rob it.
Wilson, who was apparently not noticed by the two, made his presence known in an attempt to draw their attention away from the civilians in the store. A gun battle between the two parties ensued, with more than 50 shots fired within a 30 second window. Wilson was killed with a shot to the head. As the robbers made their escape, Wilson’s partner who had been waiting outside, Damien Stephenson, exchanged gunfire with them and managed to injure Hipps in the leg. Stephenson was uninjured.
Following the shooting, Williams apparently went back to the GameStop to change his clothes and blend in with everyone inside, threatening the customers to not identify him to the police. They didn’t comply, and both him and Hipps were arrested shortly after. The men had previous run-ins with the law, with Hipps in particular having been arrested six times in the past.
In response to the murder, GameStop have donated an undisclosed amount of money to Wilson’s family, which consists of his two children, aged 8 and 1, and his grandmother. They have also made all their stores nationwide available to accept donations for the family, with 100 percent of the donations going to them. The donation drive begins today and will last till March 24.
The company also issued a statement, which read:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Robert Wilson III at this terrible time.
Everyone in the GameStop family will always remember Officer Wilson for his sacrifice while defending our staff and customers in the North Philadelphia GameStop store. The Company is thankful that due to the brave actions of Officer Wilson and the Philadelphia Police Department, all of our employees and customers are safe and unharmed.
GameStop is working with its employees to assist the authorities in every way possible as they conduct their investigation. At this time, the store will remain closed until further notice.
Actor Dan Akroyd, who was in Philadelphia at the time of the shooting, also pledged to donate.
Additionally, a trust fund for the Wilson family has been set up through the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay said that Wilson “redefined what being a hero is all about.”