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Philly officer fatally shot after finishing shift

Pictured: Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker - a 19-year-veteran of the force was shot and killed in North Philadelphia on Saturday, August 18, 2012.
August 19, 2012 8:25:28 AM PDT
An off-duty police officer was shot and killed as he walked along a North Philadelphia street early Saturday, and police announced rewards totaling $35,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Officer Moses Walker Jr., 40, had just finished his shift when he was shot several times around 6 a.m. about four blocks from the 22nd District station, police said. The 19-year veteran of the force was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Philadelphia police say they believe an off-duty officer who was shot and killed blocks from his precinct house was the victim of a robbery.

Lt. Raymond Evers said Walker's service weapon was found under his body, but police don't know whether it was discharged. Evers says police are treating the killing as a "street robbery." They are checking to see if anything was taken from Walker's backpack.

Police were asking for information from anyone who saw someone running from the scene and were also seeking any footage from security cameras facing the street in the area.

The city is offering a $20,000 reward and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 is offering a $15,000 reward, police said.

Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Walker's death is a blow for a department still mourning the loss of Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Brian Lorenzo, who was killed last month in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95.

"We literally just removed the mourning bands from our badges last week for Officer Lorenzo, and now it appears we may be putting them right back on again, so it's tough," Ramsey said.

"This department has been through an awful lot," he said. "In just the 4? years that I've been here, this would be the seventh officer we've lost, which is more than some departments get in 20 years."

From 2006 to 2009, eight officers died in the line of duty from either gunfire or vehicular assault. Half of those deaths occurred in 2008, two of them when stolen vehicles rammed their cruisers.

The general homicide rate in Philadelphia has risen sharply in recent years. After falling to just over 300 a year in 2009 and 2010, the City of Brotherly Love recorded a total of 324 homicides last year and is reporting just under one homicide every day so far this year.

In May 2006, Officer Gary Skerski became the first officer slain in the line of duty in Philadelphia in a decade when he was shot responding to a robbery at a bar.

In October 2007, Officer Chuck Cassidy, 54, was shot to death when he interrupted a robbery at a Dunkin' Donuts.

In May 2008, 39-year-old Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed following a bank robbery. Two men were convicted of first-degree murder, while the man believed to have gunned down the 12-year police veteran was killed in a shootout with officers.

A few months later, 30-year-old Officer Patrick McDonald was shot and killed by a fugitive he had chased down after a traffic stop.

Officer Isabel Nazario was killed in September 2008 when a teenager crashed a stolen SUV into her cruiser. Sgt. Timothy Simpson, 46, was killed in November 2008 when a man fleeing police in a stolen car hit his vehicle.

In 2009, Officer John Pawlowski, 25, was killed while responding to the attempted robbery of a cab driver despite wearing a bulletproof vest.

If you have any information about the suspect or the crime you can submit a tip by dialing 215-686-TIPS (8677) or text TIP to PPD TIP (773847).


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