A candlelight vigil was held Thursday evening on the West Philadelphia basketball court where fallen Officer Robert Wilson III played as child, just a short walk from where he was raised by his grandparents on Millick Street.

His sister, Shakíra Wilson-Burroughs, briefly addressed the 200 people gathered at 61st Street and Baltimore Avenue, thanking them for their support.

"Not only did we lose our brother," she said, "we lost a big part of our family, a big part of our neighborhood."

She added: "I didn't just lose my brother. He was my best friend."

The 30-year-old father of two was fatally wounded in a gun battle with two armed robbers inside a video-game store in North Philadelphia last week. He had stopped by the store to buy a gift for the oldest of his two boys, Quahmier, who turned 10 on Monday.

Wilson-Burroughs later marveled at the widespread show of appreciation. "The love for my brother - it's amazing. It's really amazing," she said.

At the request of community members, the gathering was organized by State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, who also grew up in what he proudly declared was the Cobbs Creek neighborhood.

People held signs that read, "You Will Be Missed" and "Cobbs Creek's Own."

"Robert was as normal as any Cobbs Creek boy could be," Williams told the crowd.

Williams also took aim at the ongoing controversies over tensions between police and black communities. "This idea of us vs. them, that must stop," said Williams, a Democratic candidate for Philadelphia mayor. "All lives matter."

Tyrone "Cakes" Sims, 62, a friend of the Wilson family, spoke at the vigil and later said, "It was a joy seeing a young man all his life wanting to do good things."

Wilson's sister said his slaying should be a wake-up call. "He was working to provide for his family, and now we've lost someone, my brother, an officer," she said, "and it's just time for it to stop."

bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983 @RobertMoran215