PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A police officer was shot to death blocks from his precinct house just after he finished his shift early Saturday in what authorities suspect was a street robbery. Police announced rewards totaling $30,000 to help them make an arrest.
Officer Moses Walker Jr., 40, was shot several times around 6 a.m. about four blocks from his station in north Philadelphia, police said. He wasn't wearing a uniform. 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.
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.
"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."
Lt. Raymond Evers said Walker's service weapon was found under his body, but police don't know whether it was fired. Investigators were also trying to determine if anything was taken from the officer's backpack. While detectives hadn't ruled anything out, "we're more leaning toward a street robbery" as the reason for the slaying, Evers said.
Police were asking for information from anyone who may have seen someone running from the scene and were 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 $10,000 reward, police said. Mayor Michael Nutter ordered all city flags flown at half-staff in the officer's honor.