Local/State

Reward up to $35,000 in Phila. officer's murder

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The reward for information in the death of an off-duty police officer gunned down on a north Philadelphia street increased Sunday as police reported no arrests in the case.

Officer Moses Walker Jr., 40, was shot several times shortly before dawn Saturday as he walked a few blocks from his 22nd District station after finishing his shift, police said. He wasn't wearing a uniform. Police believe the motive was robbery.

The 19-year-veteran, who was unmarried and had no children, was pronounced dead at a hospital in a city where on average nearly one person has been slain every day this year.

A police spokeswoman said Sunday that the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 had increased its reward to $15,000, joining a city reward of $20,000 for a total of $35,000. She said no suspect was arrested but investigators were "working diligently and pursuing all available leads."

Authorities said earlier that they were seeking witnesses who saw someone running from the scene and looking for security cameras that might help.

As police continue their investigation, officers, family and friends continue to mourn as they remember Moses Walker, Jr.

Parishioners at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in north Philadelphia, where Walker was a member, expressed shock at his death.

"He was a very nice man; very nice, always had a smile on his face," said Carrie Hartsfield.

Usher Carrie Hartsfield knew Moses Walker, Jr. as the kind man who sat in the last pew of the Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia every Sunday.

Just a few weeks ago, Hartsfield's interaction with him became more personal when the 22nd District officer brought her flowers as a thank you for her dedication to the church.

"He just wanted to give her flowers while she was alive, not knowing that he was going to be with the Lord the following week," said Juanita Cooper Robinson, another member of Walker's church. "I'm a little emotional myself right now, because I'm a little shocked."

A church spokesperson called officer Walker's murder tragic and devastating and gave a statement from Pastor Glen Spaulding saying, "We are committed to coming together to work with various organizations, public officials, community leaders and residents to stop the killing fields."

Walker was a member of the church for only 6 months, but he previously served as a deacon at a different church.

As a man devoted to serving his community in many ways; his murder leaves his friends and family asking questions.

"It was senseless, senseless," said Hartsfield. "If you're going to rob somebody, if that was the situation, why you have to take his life?"

The 22nd Police District continues to grieve the loss of their brother in blue, and the department says they are working diligently to find the person responsible for Officer Walker's murder.

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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police officer killed, philadelphia police, philadelphia, local/state, jennifer joyce
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