Philadelphia officer killed on duty receives national honor

Written by The Associated Press | May 16, 2016 12:14 PM

President Obama presents Constance Wilson, grandmother of fallen Philadelphia Police Department Sgt, Robert Wilson III with his Medal of Valor. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Washington) -- President Obama says police officers receiving the Medal of Valor demonstrate how loving one's country means loving one another. 

Obama is bestowing the medal on 13 law enforcement officers in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

One of those honored fallen Philadelphia Police Sergeant Robert Wilson III.

The president presented the medal to Wilson's grandmother, Constance Wilson.

Wilson was killed during a gun battle with two robbery suspects in a video game store last year.

Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty against robbery suspects Carlton Hipps and Ramone Wilson.

They are charged in the March 5th, 2015, armed robbery and shooting death of Wilson at the Game Stop in north Philadelphia.

Police say Wilson was doing a security check and buying a gift for his older son's 10th birthday when the robbery began.

Dozens of shots were fired during the ensuring shootout, and authorities said the officer was struck six times as he saved employees and customers.

At the White House ceremony, the president says every one of the recipients acted without regard for his or her personal safety and none sought out the situations that led to the medal.

The president says because of their courage, the rest of society can go about living their lives freely. 

Obama says the nation has a responsibility to support and listen to those who serve.

He says he'll keep pushing for bipartisan legislation to make the criminal justice system smarter and fairer.  

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