By Oren Liebermann
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the search for fallen Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker Junior’s killer intensified and a reward for information leading to an arrest increased to $35,000 (read related story), his family and friends held a candlelight vigil on Sunday evening to honor his memory and to mourn his loss.
The tears came easily for the mother of the police officer who was killed Saturday morning in North Philadelphia. But words were much harder to find.
“I want to thank God for my son,” said Officer Walker’s mother, Wayne. “I want to thank God for my son.”
Officer Walker’s family and friends gathered near the area where the 40-year-old was killed, turning to each other for comfort and healing.
“My brother ain’t hurt nobody,” said his brother, Anthony. “Anybody that knows my brother knows he’s all about love.”
Officer Walker was killed early Saturday morning after he left his shift at the 22nd district. (read related story)
Police say he had changed out of his uniform — when someone stopped him along Cecil B. Moore Avenue, probably to rob him.
The suspect shot Walker three times in the chest and stomach. Police haven’t identified a suspect yet, but Commissioner Charles Ramsey has confidence in his department.
“They’ll close it,” Ramsey said. “There’s no question in my mind they’ll bring it in. We have an excellent homicide division.”
Walker was a devout Christian who spent many hours in prayer. It is in prayer that his family sought answers.
“I love my brother and I know my brother’s up there right now looking down on all of us,” said Anthony Walker. “I know he’s hurting because we’re hurting.”
“We thank all those concerned for their outpouring of support for the family,” said Walker’s sister, Kenya Boulwrae.
Sadness mixed with outrage in the neighborhood that someone would kill a police officer.
“This was somebody’s brother,” said Rep. Curtis Thomas. “This was somebody’s uncle. This was somebody’s family member.”
For now, prayers filled the empty space in everyone’s heart, but soon they hope to replace prayers with answers.
Investigators haven’t been too specific about what evidence they’re looking at or if they have surveillance video, but Commissioner Ramsey says they may be looking for more than one suspect in this shooting.