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May 5, 2008 5:16:56 PM PDT
One suspect was charged and a second was being sought Sunday in the killing of a police officer who was shot with an assault rifle while investigating a report of bank robbery, police said.Levon Warner, 38, was charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy and related offenses, Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn said at a news conference Sunday.

A second man, Eric Floyd, 33, believed to have escaped from a halfway house in Berks County, was being sought on a homicide charge. A third man, Howard Cain, 33, was killed by police.

The dead officer, Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, a 12-year veteran who would have turned 40 on Tuesday, was responding to a report of a robbery of a bank inside a grocery store around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

The robbers fled, and opened fire after Liczbinski confronted them a short distance away, authorities said. Cain was shot as police pursued the gunmen, authorities said.

"The sergeant didn't have a chance," Blackburn said, adding that Liczbinski was shot at least five times.

Police recovered two vehicles, one of which contained a high-powered assault rifle with 25 live rounds. They found other weapons, $38,000 and several sets of Muslim clothing that the suspects apparently wore as disguises, police said.

Shortly after the robbery, Warner reported his van stolen, Blackburn said. But police later determined he was involved in the crime and that his vehicle had been used as a getaway car, authorities said.

Blackburn warned that the wanted suspect, Floyd, should be considered "extremely armed and dangerous."

"The entire Philadelphia Police Department is working nonstop," he said. "We're asking him to turn himself in."

About a dozen blue-shirted officers, some wearing white motorcycle helmets, flanked a black hearse and saluted as the body of Liczbinski, a married father of three, was placed in the hearse at the hospital Saturday.

The hearse was escorted away by officers on police motorcycles, some bearing black- and blue-striped flags.

Mayor Michael Nutter on Saturday declared a 30-day period of mourning for Liczbinski and requested that all flags in the city be lowered to half-staff for that period.

Liczbinski's killing came only a few days after Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced a major reorganization of the police department's command structure and the addition of nearly 250 officers on street patrols as part of a strategy to reduce crime.

The shooting came about six months after the last death of a Philadelphia officer in the line of duty. Officer Chuck Cassidy, 54, also a father of three, was killed during the botched robbery of a doughnut shop on Oct. 31.

Nearly two years ago, in May 2006, Officer Gary Skerski was fatally shot in the neck when a man robbing a bar fired a shotgun out the back door.


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