Sgt. murdered by bank robbers E-mail
Written by APB staff   

In Philadelphia, details are emerging from an incident where three ex-cons used disguises and high-powered weapons in a bank robbery where Philadelphia Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was murdered. Liczbinski was shot in cold blood by suspect Howard Cain. “I’m going to let him have it,” Howard Cain, 33, allegedly said as he turned his high-powered rifle on Liczbinski. Police shot Cain and killed him just minutes later.

The words preceding the murder of Sgt. Liczbinski came from a confession by Levon T. Warner, 39, a local boxer and the only suspect in custody, according to a police source. Warner was charged with murder, robbery and conspiracy.

He provided a detailed account of his part in Liczbinski’s death, according to the source who spoke with reporters from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Police and the FBI expanded their search for the remaining suspect, Eric DeShann Floyd, 33, from Philadelphia to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where Floyd once lived.

The perpetrators fled the robbery in a Jeep Liberty that had been carjacked in North Philadelphia the day before. Sgt. Liczbinski pursued the suspects and at some point during the pursuit Cain got out of the Jeep and fired five shots from a Chinese SKS assault rifle, according to the official police account and details from Warner’s confession.

Liczbinski, of the 24th District, was shot multiple times and died at Temple University Hospital. Liczbinski was a 12-year veteran and had been recently promoted to sergeant. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

“That officer was assassinated on the streets of Philadelphia,” Mayor Nutter said in an interview with the Inquirer. “There was nothing that could have protected him – that weapon penetrates vehicles.”

The three suspects ditched the Jeep just four blocks from where the officer lay dying. Cain tried to steal another vehicle from a nearby dealership but was cornered by police. Cain got out of the van with the SKS rifle in hand and was shot and killed by officers who had arrived on the scene. His gun apparently jammed with 25 of 30 rounds unspent.

Five spent shell casings were found at the scene of the officer’s slaying. Police recovered the rifle outside the van. Inside was a .44-caliber revolver loaded with five rounds, two sets of Muslim clothing, $38,000 in cash taken from the bank, and two GPS “bloodhound” units, used by banks to track stolen cash.

Blackburn said police used the GPS signal to track the suspects as they fled. In a nearby alley, police found a loaded .22-caliber revolver and other clothing. Also recovered during the investigation were another set of Muslim clothing, a dreadlocks wig, and a dust mask, all believed to have been worn as disguises.

After the incident, neighbors and police officers in uniform prayed outside a makeshift memorial at the site of Liczbinski’s shooting. People from the neighborhood applauded the officers who came to the memorial service.

At the end, the officers stood at attention in recognition of two men who were crying. They tried to help Liczbinski after the shooting and felt they had let him down.

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