One year later: Vigil honors life and sacrifice of Sgt. Robert Wilson III

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Family, friends, and colleagues gathered to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Sgt. Robert Wilson III. (WPVI)

Family, friends, and colleagues gathered Saturday to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Sgt. Robert Wilson III.

Wilson was an eight year veteran of the force. He walked up the steps at the 22nd District everyday on his way to work. So today, hundreds gathered outside the district headquarters for a solemn ceremony to honor his life and sacrifice - remembering his smile, his positive attitude, and his bravery in those final moments.

Wilson's sister, Shakira Wilson-Burroughs told those in attendance, "He was a man behind a uniform. He chose a profession. He chose to make the decision to become an officer - to protect. These officers, including him, they're people. Lives are precious and these people who decide to take lives. It's beyond."

This undated photo shows Robert Wilson III, who was killed after he and his partner exchanged gunfire with two suspects trying to rob a video game store.

Wilson was killed during a hold-up at the GameStop store at 22nd and Lehigh. He was there to buy a gift for his son, but made the ultimate sacrifice.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says the entire incident was captured on surveillance video.

Williams explains, "He did everything he could humanly to defend those civilians that were at that GameStop. I've never seen anything so heroic or as brave as what I saw that day."

Mayor Jim Kenney said, "If we are going to honor the memory of Robert Wilson, I think the best thing that we can do is to emulate who he was as a person: The type of son he was; the type of father he was; the type of friend he was; the type of police officer he was."

At the end of the ceremony balloons were released in Wilson's honor. He leaves behind two sons. His former partner, who rushed to his side after the shooting, says he's touched by the outpouring of support.

Officer Damien Stevenson says, "It shows the type of impact Rob had on everyone, including myself. I told him, he was my old partner, I learned so much from that guy in two years and I thought I knew everything."

Two brothers were arrested for the deadly shooting - Ramone Williams and Carlton Hipps. Both have been charged in Wilson's murder. They have not yet gone to trial.

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