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July 25, 2014, 2:24 am

Bounty for cop killer grows

As the aggressive investigation into the slaying of Police Officer Moses Walker continues, as of Tribune press time, the reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspects jumped to $88,000 and could climb even higher.

There’s $57,000 just for the arrest of the killer, and another $31,000 for the prosecution and conviction of those responsible. Much of the money is coming from private donations.

Law enforcement authorities released surveillance video of the two men wanted in connection with the death of Walker, who was gunned down over the weekend in an attempted robbery.

The surveillance footage, released by the Philadelphia Police Department, clearly shows Walker, 40, heading to the bus stop, looking over his shoulder a few times. The footage shows the two suspects, but not their faces, and police and city officials are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying them, in addition to questioning a witness whom police believe saw the entire incident.

“On Saturday, August 18, 2012, at 6:00 a.m., police responded to a shooting at 20th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. When they arrived they found Officer Moses Walker; he had been shot multiple times. He was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” said Captain James Clark of the Homicide Unit. “The investigation reveals that Officer Walker, who had just gotten off from the late tour at the 22nd District, had changed into civilian clothes and was on foot in the direction of 17th and Cecil B. Moore. He then started westbound to try and catch a bus to his home in the 2100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue, two males approached him. A robbery was announced, and they demanded money from him. At this time, the officer attempted to pull out his off duty weapon. That’s when one of the males fired, striking the officer once in the chest, once in the stomach and once in the hand.”

Clark said they’re fairly sure the suspects live in the area, and are very sure local residents know who they are. Mayor Michael Nutter said that $20,000 of the reward money came from the city. The Fraternal Order of Police put up an additional $20,000. The rest came from private donations. Mayor Nutter has ordered that all city flags be flown at half staff in Walker’s honor. Funeral arrangements are still being handled as of Tribune press time.

“This is just another tragedy, particularly for our police department. I spoke with Officer Walker’s mother, and everyone in their family is deeply affected by this murder,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “At 6:00 in the morning in this area we have to believe that individuals walking the streets and engaging someone they didn’t know, they have to be from that neighborhood and more than likely live in the community.”

Nutter said that the standing reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone wanted for murder is $20,000. That information can be turned over to the police by a phone call, social media and other ways. To offer information, call 215-686-TIPS or go to www.ppdonline.com.

“These people are a menace to society, and we’re asking for the public to give us information. We need to get these killers off the streets,” Nutter said.

Walker, who was a year away from retirement, is the tenth Philadelphia Police officer to die in the line of duty since Officer Gary Skerski was shot to death on May 8, 2008. Officers William Barclay, Charles Cassidy, Stephen Liczbinski, Isabel Nazario, Patrick McDonald, Timothy Simpson, John Pawlowski and most recently, Brian Lorenzo, all fell in the line of duty.

“This department has been through an awful lot,” said Ramsey. “We’ve lost a lot of officers, more than some departments get in 20 years. As you can see the video isn’t very clear, but they’re probably from the area since they were hanging around that early in the morning.”

Capt. Clark said that while no suspects have been named yet, investigators are questioning a man who witnessed the murder. Police are also questioning a fourth individual who was in a white car and who had an arrest warrant for robbery. Clark did not release the name of the individual, but did say they were under arrest for that robbery and was being questioned in Walker’s murder also.

“That robbery is similar to this one,” Clark said. “There have been three or four robberies in the vicinity that fit the same pattern. This individual may not be one of the suspects but he is under arrest for an earlier robbery. We do not believe the witness is associated with the two killers.”