- PC David Phillips was deliberately hit by burglars driving a stolen truck
- Merseyside police officer, 34, married with two daughters, aged 7 and 3
- Driver aimed at the police officer who was standing on central reservation
- Suspects then drove off and abandoned stolen red Mitsubishi truck
- Police say he ‘didn’t stand a chance’ and launch murder investigtion to hunt for suspects
Heartbroken colleagues of a police officer murdered by burglars in a hit and run broke down today as they laid flowers at the spot where he was knocked down.
PC David Phillips, 34, ‘did not stand a chance’ when the thieves ‘drove straight at him’ in a stolen car on a dual carriageway in Wallasey, Merseyside at 2am this morning.
The married father of two was killed by a gang inside a stolen red Mitsubishi pick-up truck who are still on the run and now wanted for his murder.
Friends and colleagues sobbed as they laid flowers for the police officer described as ‘one of the best’.
PC Phillips, who joined the police in 2006, was married to Jen and has two daughters, Abigail, seven, and Sophie, three, who have been ‘robbed’ of a ‘husband and father’, Merseyside chief constable Sir Jon Murphy has said.
Family man: David was married to wife Jen, and had two children Abigail, 7, and Sophie, 3, pictured together, who must now grow up without a father
Distraught: Colleagues from PC Phillips’ Wirral police station looked devastated as they visited the crime scene today
Tears: This police officer was overwhelmed and was joined by dozens of others who came to remember his life
Hunt: The gang, who burgled an estate agent and stole the red Mitsubishi pick-up truck used to kill PC Phillips, are now wanted for his murder and are still on the run today
Murder: This is the spot where PC David Phillips was knocked down and killed Wallasey Dock North Road, Wallasey, (pictured) at 2.08am, by burglars driving a stolen car
A man wipes away a tear after laying flowers at the crime scene where PC Phillips was killed by a speeding stolen pick-up vehicle
In shock: The clearly emotional officers who knew the murdered PC arrived together to pay their respects today
Moving: Flowers have been laid and a series of messages have been left at the crime scene as the hunt for the people involved continues
Murder weapon: The bumper of the red stolen Mitsubishi pokes out of the police’s blue tent where it was abandoned in Corbyn Street, Wallasey
Police officers lay floral tributes at the scene in Wallasey North Road, in Merseyside where PC Phillips was killed by a gang in a stolen car
A group of police officers clutch bouquets of flowers as they attend the scene where their colleague was killed
PC Phillips is the first officer to be killed on duty in Merseyside as a result of a criminal act since 1981
Tributes: A Merseyside police officer adds a bouquet to the growing number of bunches of flowers being left where PC Phillips was hit this morning
Police look at the floral tributes at the scene in Wallasey North Road, Merseyside, where their colleague was mowed down and killed by a stolen car
PC David Phillips, 34, was hit by a pick-up vehicle which mounted a central reservation in Wallasey North Road
Suspicion: This could be the pick up truck used to kill PC Phillips, although police would not confirm this today
PC Phillips joined Merseyside Police in 2006 and was ‘popular and held in high regard’ by his colleagues.
Sir Jon said PC Phillips is the first Merseyside Police officer to be killed on duty as a result of a criminal act since 1981 and paid tribute to the bravery of his officers.
PC Raymond Davenport was killed 34 years ago when when dragged along the street by a stolen car while attempting to arrest the driver.
Sir John said: ‘David’s death serves as a reminder of the risks that the men and women of this force and the other forces in the UK face, in serving the public.
‘They come to work, day in day out, knowing the risks they all face.
‘But their wives, their husbands, their loved ones and their families expect them to come home at the end of their watch.
‘Sadly, David did not and his daughters will have to grow up without their father.’
Sir Jon appealed for those responsible to do the ‘sensible thing’ and warned, ‘we will find you.’
But he also said the evidence police have currently is the abandoned car and ‘nothing else’.
He emphasised the appeal for information and said: ‘We have got no idea who has done this.’
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Prime Minister David Cameron said the accident was a ‘reminder that everyday’ our police force ‘take extraordinary risks on our behalf’.
He said: ‘It’s an absolutely tragic and awful case and one’s thoughts go out to David Phillips’ family and friends.
‘It is a reminder that every day, people in our police force they get up, they put on their uniform and they take extraordinary risks on our behalf.
‘There’s no such thing as a safe day if you are a police officer. We must get to the bottom of how this happened and get the perpetrator and ensure justice is done.’Flowers placed on Wallasey Dock North Road for PC David Phillips
Start: The suspects were first chased by police after they burgled an estate agent on this street in Birkenhead
Tragedy: Less than an hour later the police tried to puncture the tyres of their stolen vehicle 15 minutes away in Wallasey, but the driver of the car drove at two officers – killing one
Deliberate act: Merseyside Police say that the driver of the car drove along the central reservation straight at PC Phillips and his younger colleague
Sealed off: As police said that they were treating the death as murder, and have sealed off the road where he died
Probe: Police and forensic officers on Birkenhead Road and the junction of Corbyn Street, where the car was abandoned after it killed the father of two
Dumped: The stolen red Mitsubishi was later found abandoned here on Corbyn Street, Wallasey, and police have since taken it away for analysis
Wallasey Road North, Corbyn Street and the premises in Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, have been cordoned off while forensic examinations are carried out.
Fellow police officers and other emergency service workers have been expressing their shock at the death and are using the hashtag #999family on Twitter.
Merseyside police crime commissioner Jane Kennedy almost broke down as she gave her tribute.
She said: ‘Today is a day of mourning for the entire police family. It was with great shock that I was told this news in the early hours of this morning.
‘And I know I speak for people across Merseyside when I say that my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with police constable David Phillip’s family
‘Police officers are on the front line every single day, it’s a dark day when we lose one of our own and it’s a painful reminder of the risks that our police officers face to keep us all safe.
‘PC Phillips went to work to serve the people of Merseyside and his family could never have imagined he would not return home.’
Residents said they frequently saw a red Mitsubishi pick-up truck decorated with the Oxton estate agents logo parked close to the business. Police have not confirmed if this is the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run.
One resident of Halcyon Avenue, who wished to remain anonymous, bought his house through Oxton.
He said: ‘The first I heard of it was the police helicopter. It wasn’t much of a surprise because it’s mad around here and there are always burglaries.
‘But it’s a terrible shame that someone has lost their life.’
Another neighbour said she believed there had been break-ins at the estate agents before because she had heard the alarm going off.
The owner of the business, who is not believed to be from Liverpool, was unavailable for comment.Theresa May: Public must help to find PC Phillips’ killer
Shocking: After a burglary at an estate agent in Birkenhead the suspects were chased to Wallasey where a police officer while trying to puncture their tyres
Former police officer and Wallasey councillor Lesley Rennie said: ‘As a former police officer for the Merseyside force it’s really hit me hard, it’s just the most tragic thing that could happen.
‘Words cannot describe the incident, I’m just lost for words. This kind of tragedy hits everyone, and as a member of the community I think a lot of people will feel like they’ve lost a family member too.
‘Of course my deepest thoughts are with the officer’s family and friends and I hope that they catch the perpetrators as soon as possible.’
Angela Eagle, Labour MP for Wallasey, tweeted: ‘Shocked to hear about the incident on the dock road in Wallasey. Thoughts with family of the murdered police officer.’
Anyone who has any information which could help the police with their inquiries is asked to contact 0151 777 2263, or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
National grief after police officer is killed in line of duty
Hundreds of people have expressed their shock and grief after a Merseyside on-duty police officer was mown down by a stolen car and killed.
Scores of emergency services personnel and members of the public have expressed condolences on Twitter using the hashtag #999family in response to the fatal incident.
Lucy Parrott, an ambulance dispatcher for West Midland’s Ambulance Service wrote: ‘Heartbreaking news about Mersey Police this morning. Thoughts with them and ambulance colleagues that tried to save the officer.’
Response: Other emergency workers have expressed their shock at the murder of a police man in a car chase
Grief: Others working for the police, fire service or ambulance service said today they were sad and also proud of the man who lost his life
A user known as @HertsMedic999 said: ‘RIP to our police friends, the thin blue line gets a little thinner with every tragedy.’
Chief Constable for Surrey police Lynne Owens said: ‘Awful news from Merseyside police. Sending heartfelt thoughts to family, friends and colleagues from all Surrey Police.’
The Road Policing Unit (RPU) of West Yorkshire Police tweeted: ‘Tragic news felt by everybody in our office. The true danger of stinger deployment and pursuits.’
Last month more than 1,000 people attended a ceremony organised by the Police Federation in Edinburgh where fallen officers from forces in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales were honoured and the names of those who had died in the last year were read out.
Home Secretary Theresa May attended and said of the September 27 event: ‘When a police officer falls in the line of duty, their death is a reminder of the very real dangers they face day in, day out, as they put themselves on the line to deal with violent criminals and dangerous situations.’