Hunt continues for officer murder suspect

May 5, 2008 4:35:52 AM PDT
Philadelphia police announced just before 8 a.m. Sunday that one person was arrested for the killing of a Philadelphia officer during a robbery, and they have the warrant to arrest another person.The suspects were cold and calculated. Sources say as Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was about to pull over the alleged criminals when one of the suspects said, "Bang him... get the rifle." Moments later at Schiller and Almond Street, investigators say Howard Cain emerged from a Jeep and fired an assault rifle, hitting and killing the 12-year veteran.

Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn describes the weapon as being, "similar to an AK-47. It's an SK. It's got tremendous firepower, and was loaded with 25 rounds. It's a deadly weapon."

During a news conference late Sunday morning, Philadelphia Police released the suspects' names linked to the murder of Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski.

The man in custody and charged with robbery, murder and other crimes has been identified as 38-year-old Levon Warner. Police are trying to find 33-year-old Eric DeShawn Floyd. Floyd is 5'8", 155 pounds and also goes by the name "Hasheem". Investigators say he recently escaped from a halfway house in Reading, Pa., and he should be considered armed and dangerous.

The third suspect, 33-year-old Howard Cain, was shot and killed during a confrontation with Philadelphia Police. Eric Floyd and Howard Cain, the dead suspect, both lived in apartments on West Clearfield Street in West Kensington.

Liczbinski, 39-years-old and serving in the 24th District, encountered suspects from the holdup of a Bank of America branch inside the Shop Rite located at 3547 Aramingo Avenue around 11:26 a.m. Saturday. On the 2500 block of E. Schiller Street, Liczbinski found a dark-colored Jeep that the suspects used to get away. That's when police say Cain drew the SK and fired shots at Liczbinski, fatally wounding the officer.

Sgt. Liczbinski was shot three times, suffering wounds to the face and abdomen. He was rushed to Northeastern Hospital then transferred to Temple University Hospital, where he later died.

The suspects then switched out vehicles and jumped into a Chrysler Town and Country minivan. A K-9 officer spotted the group and pulled over the vehicle in the 500 block of E. Louden Street. Police say Cain tried to unload his weapon again, but it jammed. 2 officers fired and killed the 33-year-old career criminal. The other suspects fled.

A short time later police say Warner flagged down an officer and said his van had been stolen. The minivan reported stolen by Warner is the minivan that police recovered along the 500 block of E. Louden Street.

Crime scene investigators collected the SKS assault rifle from the sidewalk near the van, along with clothing linked to the bank robbery. Inside the van, police found a fully-loaded 44-caliber revolver, 2 sets of Muslim clothing about $38,000 in cash and 2 GPS tracking devices.

During the night Saturday, police were engaged in an all-out manhunt for the suspect or suspects that got away. SWAT teams went door to door searching for the cop killers.

Police are now looking into possible links between the suspects in this crime and other robberies in the city in which the perpetrators were wearing Muslim clothing.

During their investigation, along the 3400 block of North Miller Street, police found a Jeep that had been reported stolen Friday. This is the vehicle police believe was the Jeep involved in the shooting death of Officer Liczbinski.

Liczbinski, a 12-year veteran of the department, was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday this coming Tuesday, May 6th. Liczbinski is survived by his wife Michele, sons Matt and Stephen, and daughter Amber.


Funeral Arrangements for Sgt. Liczbinski

Thursday's viewing begins at 6 p.m.
John F. Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.
Academy Road Philadelphia, Pa. 19154
(215) 281-0100

Second viewing on Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
Mass immediately following the viewing

Burial at Resurrection Cemetery
5201 Hulmeville Road
Bensalem, Pa.

You can make donations out to:
Stephen Liczbinski family memorial trust fund
Firefighters and Police Officers Credit Union
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19107