Suspect Charged In Officer's Death

A suspect in custody was formally charged with the murder of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski Sunday morning.

Police have identified the charged suspect as Levon Warner.

Sgt. Liczbinksi was shot and killed by alleged bank robbery suspects in the city's Port Richmond section Saturday afternoon.

One suspect was killed, another has been charged and an extensive manhunt remains in progress for the third and final suspect.

Authorities said it all began when at least two armed men held up the Bank of America inside a Shop Rite located at Aramingo and Castor Avenues at 11:26 a.m.

"One tall guy, two black guys, one tall black guy and one medium height and they ran out with the money in the bags," one eyewitness said.

The store manager reported the crime and license plate number of the get away car to Philadelphia Police.

Just a few minutes later, a 24th District Police Sergeant and 12-year veteran of the force, 40-year-old Stephen Liczbinski, was ambushed as he tried to step form his patrol car, after stopping the fleeing gunmen, in the 2600 block of Schiller Street. Sergeant Liczbinski never got his revolver out of its holster. The suspects opened fire with what police describe as an assault weapon.

"At least one of the males fired shots striking and fatally wounding Sgt. Liczbinski," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.

One neighbor saw a police officer try to save the sergeant's life.

"He had said to the one guy who was applying pressure, 'tell my wife…' and that's all he had said and that's when they grabbed him and took him off," the eyewitness said.

Sergeant Liczbinski was taken to Temple University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries early Saturday afternoon. His body was later transported to the medical examiner's office in University City.

A police pursuit ensued following the officer's shooting and one of the suspects was shot by police during a second shootout in the 500 block of E. Louden Street in the Juniata section of the city. Witnesses said the confrontation was violent.

"It was a gun battle. So whoever it was, it was a gun battle going back and forth," another eyewitness said.

The unidentified suspect was taken to Temple University Hospital where he died. Two other suspects fled and a police manhunt followed. A second suspect was taken into custody and is being questioned but has not yet been criminally charged. It is unclear how that suspect was apprehended.

Police believe the suspect who was fatally wounded Saturday is the gunman who took the officer's life.

During an afternoon news conference, Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Ramsey told the city of Philadelphia to wrap their arms around the fallen officer's family and offer support in this time of tragedy.

"I ask that we rally around this family wrap our arms around them, keep them in our prayers. They will need ongoing help and support as we grapple with what has happened here today and I just want to express my own personal sympathies to this family and thank the officer for his long hard work for the Philadelphia Police Department," Mayor Nutter said.

Sergeant Liczbinski, who was promoted to Sergeant in October of 2007, leaves behind a wife, two sons and a daughter.

"This loss of life from a fine Philadelphia Police Officer is just one more example of the senseless violence that takes place here in our city. Our hearts and our prayers go out to his wife Michelle, his sons; Matt, Steven, and his daughter Amber. We are all affected by what has happened here," Mayor Nutter said.

"Right now we just have to pray for the family and stay strong for the Liczbinski family and be there for them for whatever they need," FOP President James McNesby said.

Meanwhile, members of law enforcement from the Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania and Delaware State Police have been involved in a city-wide manhunt for the final suspects, possibly a female accomplice. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to contact Philadelphia police.

The three suspects were described by police as:

Suspect #1:
Tall black male
Medium build
Dressed in full robe

Wearing sunglasses during the robbery
Had a shoulder type bag over his right shoulder

Suspect #2:

Possibly a female
Unknown race
Standing 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7

Wearing light brown robe from head to toe

Suspect #3:

Stalky build
Standing 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-3
Medium brown complexion
Shoulder length dreadlocks type hair that could have possibly been a wig
Blue jeans and a light colored shirt that may have been a flannel shirt
Wearing a white mask possibly a hospital or construction-type mask over his mouth


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