Scottsdale Cop's Fatal Shooting of 72-Year-Old Preston Phillips Caught on Camera

scottsdale-shooting.jpg
KPHO
A Scottsdale police officer shooting 72-year-old Preston Phillips.
The Scottsdale Police Department's second fatal officer-involved shooting this month was caught on camera, as a neighbor recorded the confrontation between the Scottsdale officer and 72-year-old Preston Phillips last month.

Unfortunately, that 19-year-old neighbor released the video to KPHO Channel 5, which hacked up the video with some obnoxious editing, somehow making the cellphone-quality video even worse.

See also:
-Scottsdale Cop Shoots, Kills 72-Year-Old Preston Phillips
-Thomas Hawes Fatally Shot by Scottsdale Cops; Five Detectives on Leave
-Scottsdale Police Department Has Quite a Shooting Problem, ACLU Alleges
-David Hulstedt Shot in Back, Then Dragged 400 Feet on Knees by Scottsdale Police
-James Peters, Scottsdale Cop With Six Kills, Approved for Retirement

Preston Phillips Jr. was shot by the officer around 6 p.m. on March 28 after, police say, he drove up next to the officer, pulled a handgun out of his holster and "display[ed] it in a threatening manner."

That officer, seven-year veteran Nathan Mullins, responded to a dispute between neighbors that evening, after a woman complained about her neighbor parking his truck illegally.

After Mullins ticketed the truck, an SUV pulled up to Mullins, who went around to the driver's-side window.

As he approached the window, the officer saw the man, later identified as Phillips, pull a pistol from the holster and "display it in a threatening manner," according to police.

Mullins stepped back and fired multiple shots into the SUV.

The house belongs to Phillips, and police confirmed to New Times that his son owned the ticketed truck.

Now, this video of the shooting was released to KPHO, in which 11 shots are heard being fired, apparently all from Officer Mullins.

Mullins was placed on leave, as is typically the case in officer-involved shootings.

Check out the video below, and below that, read more about recent Scottsdale PD shootings.



Earlier in March, 45-year-old Thomas Hawes -- who was wanted for questioning in sex crimes -- was shot by Scottsdale police after being confronted by five detectives. Police said he pointed a gun at himself, then pointed it at the detectives and fired one round. The detectives fired back, killing Hawes.

Police said that the five detectives involved in the shooting also were placed on leave, which is consistent with Scottsdale PD policy.

In September, the Scottsdale PD was targeted with a lawsuit from the ACLU for a department shooting in which former Officer James Peters notched his sixth kill. The ACLU alleged that the Scottsdale PD heads pretty much have a policy of "rubber-stamping" officer-involved shootings as justified.

A little more than a year ago, police responded to John Loxas' home, and he answered the door with his grandson in his arms. He was not armed, but Officer Peters shot him in the forehead, killing him instantly. No other officer fired a shot.

ACLU representatives compared that to the 2008 shooting of David Hulstedt, who was shot, handcuffed, and dragged about 400 feet by Scottsdale cops, in an incident that was captured on videos (linked above).



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37 comments
valleynative
valleynative

Most people's total experience with guns and police comes from watching TV.

They think that, most of the time, you can just speak calmly and talk an armed felon into surrendering without firing a shot.  Or maybe just shoot him once in the leg.  If he's an old man, you can probably just confuse him with clever banter until you can get close enough to knock him on the head.

That's television.  It's entertainment.  In the real world, emptying a magazine into the man who pulls a gun on you is a normal and appropriate response.

I know several men in their 70's who shoot better and faster than most police.  Old doesn't mean harmless.

valleynative
valleynative

Is the point that we shouldn't look at this single incident in which an officer fearing for his life shot an armed man objectively and on its own merits, but rather should view it only in light of what other Scottsdale officers have done?   Is that the point?

As for the Loxas case, whether or not a man is armed, or holding a child, if you have reason to believe that he's reaching for a gun to kill you, what do you do?  Yell "freeze" a few times and hope for a commercial break?  Real life doesn't work that way.


Gary Waterman
Gary Waterman

Abel-You are speaking practicality and common sence on a page dedicated to idiotic ramblings. Most New Times readers dont understand a word you just said.

Gary Waterman
Gary Waterman

1. Tyburn-You are without a doubt the biggest idiot ive ever heard and unfortunately you are heard to often. No such thing as a "neutral party". Lawyers are not part of the "enforcement" arm of the justice system. They arent trained in it. They specialize in picking shit apart AFTER the fact. I am not at ALL saying there arent some bad cops out there but you waste far to much time spewing your crap about law enforcement and never ever address the simple fact that thousands and thousands none police assholes break the law every day. Every day they hurt innocent people. Your BRILLIANT ideas of emptying out prisons and closing the doors on police departments only highlight what an fool you are. Let me guess, legalizing drugs would make things better to right? Dumbass dumbass dumbass!

Abel Baker
Abel Baker

Oh heck yeah, let's wire them up and record every second of their ten hour work day. Then the videos can be downloaded at the precinct (Hmmmm how many servers will they need to buy to support the tens of thousands of hours of video produced each day across the valley) and then archived as public records for how many years? Hasn't been done yet folks cuz it's insanely expensive and complicated for government to do it. Here's a better solution, stop breaking the law and you probably wont have contact with the police.

Whitney Pendergraft
Whitney Pendergraft

That would be a big, fat YES for me. I think it would benefit both officers and civilians.

Penny Tompkins Cook
Penny Tompkins Cook

People want to tote guns around and show off their piece, they can get shot at by anybody, especially an officer of the law

Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis

In September, the Scottsdale PD was targeted with a lawsuit from the ACLU for a department shooting in which former Officer James Peters notched his sixth kill. The ACLU alleged that the Scottsdale PD heads pretty much have a policy of "rubber-stamping" officer-involved shootings as justified. A little more than a year ago, police responded to John Loxas' home, and he answered the door with his grandson in his arms. He was not armed, but Officer Peters shot him in the forehead, killing him instantly. No other officer fired a shot.

Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis

That was one of my old neighbors that he killed. Since when is it policy to shoot first and ask questions later? Was the window even down on that side of the car? I want to see proof that the person even had a gun. No way in Hell did the officer have to shoot him to protect himself, they are trained to be total cowards now. What next, are they going to shoot someone reaching into his pocket to get his car keys, just in case he might be going for a gun? Did he even yell to put it down or anything? GESTAPO THUG COWARDS!

Pedie Katerson
Pedie Katerson

Hell yes I do. Hold them accountable. There are far too many who think they're untouchable.

Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy

too many dirty cops out there...shady as all hell..

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

The video should be uploaded to a neutral group, like the National Lawyers Guild and only be used for lawsuits against cops and for defense. Otherwise the cops will just delete it if it doesn't show them in a positive light. Also, we already have too many people in jail as it is, so we don't need the cops using this data for prosecutions.

Ash Fenix
Ash Fenix

Yes on their shirts with mic or on their helmet

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

Shit...staying out of Scottsdale from now own. The most trigger-happy police force in the state. 11 shots to "neutralize" as suspect? Really?

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

How thorough the detectives investigating this incident to contact all the witnesses that could provide valuable information and obtain this footage. The victim in the SUV looked very threatening, that poor officers life was clearly in danger we should stop this gun control law because 9-10 shots fired into the truck was barely enough to neutralize the 72 year old man

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@valleynative The officer approached the man with his hand on his weapon, or his weapon already drawn (Thats what it looks like) aimed at the 72 year old man, a young kid yelling, armed pointing a deadly weapon at you. Arizona law states if you feel threatened you can display your weapon but if the cop is trying to kill you you have the right to fight back. in this case the cop murdered the old man and its status quo to give the officer the benefit of the doubt even in case were the officer has murdered half a dozen people and has a track record of killing civilians armed and unarmed. I also would put money you are a veteran and suffer from past war experiences making you biased towards the military reaction to nutralize the civilian by firing off your clip into him and endangering people around you because bullets do not stop they keep going thru windows, walls, houses and do not discriminate against children either but that would have just been an accident and the copy is still entitled to his paid vacation for killing them because he says he feared for his life. I think it did his heart good and he enjoyed killing the man, but that just my opinion of military and ex military and the average gun toten LEO

U.S.A.
U.S.A.

@valleynative The point is that cops shooting people is a big deal, not business as usual.  If a cop mistakenly shot you in the head, because he thought you were reaching for a gun you might think otherwise.  Then again, dead men tell no tales.

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@Abel Baker Uhm, It is currently in the works and soon we will have footage of every second of the day our public servants serve us the public, and even when the unlicky few get serveda half dozen or so bullets. Cannot wait

valleynative
valleynative

@Martin Lewis  If a person is drawing on you, the only sensible policy is to shoot first and ask questions later.  It's really not an appropriate time to try to start a conversation.  Not even short conversations like "drop it".  Common sense in the face of a threat to your life is not cowardice.

valleynative
valleynative

@getmeouttahere  If you think a man is going to kill you if he can make his trigger finger work, after which shot would you stop?  Police are trained to shoot until they're willing to bet their life that he's not going to be able to shoot back.


valleynative
valleynative

@JustDoIt  Again, real world vs TV.  People don't always answer the door when the police knock, particularly if they have a cool video that they're afraid might be confiscated as evidence.

It doesn't really matter what a person looks like.  If he has a gun in his hand and is trying to point it at you, he is very threatening.   I would think that would be pretty obvious.

valleynative
valleynative

You bear some pretty heavy grudge against people in authority, don't you?

I'm not a veteran or a cop.  I'm just a guy who understands the difference between TV and the real world.

The ammunition used by police is designed to stop in the target, as much as possible.  You try to be aware of the background, but if your life is in certain danger, it makes no sense to sacrifice your life to avoid the VERY small chance that one of your rounds might hit an innocent person.

It is "status quo" to give ANYONE the benefit of the doubt when they believe that their life was threatened.  Whatever "track record" the police department has should not reflect on this individual.  Intellectually honest people do not judge individuals based on the perceived behavior of the group you've assigned them to.


valleynative
valleynative

@JustDoIt  The law does NOT say that if a cop is pointing a gun at you, you're allowed to pull a gun.  That is, without doubt, the stupidest thing I've ever read in a comment section.  Congratulations!

valleynative
valleynative

@U.S.A.  If it was a mistake, then that's a bad thing, but to assume that this was a mistake is also a bad thing.

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@valleynative @JustDoIt Trying to point it at you is a long stretch (No where do I read he aimed his weapon at the officer, or pointed it, I see he saw a weapon, but by the time everyone got their I bet it was not in his hand: prove it!) and having it in your hand is not a legal means to murder you, if that be the case maybe people in the grocery store will start shooting each other because they tried to unholster their weapons and aim it at each other so the first to draw wins, just make sure you shoot them a dozen times or so because otherwise its your word against theirs you drew first, of course unless a clear video is present or a witness says different. Just like the wild wild west, yup love those movies. Native then you and your fellow gun toten buddies can go out in the streat and play cowboy

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@valleynative @JustDoIt Sure I'll fix the puctuation, and you fix your face. only problem I have is when people are murdered for no reason, if this was justified great but if not I got a problem.

valleynative
valleynative

@JustDoIt  Regardless of killings, it's clear that you have a problem with authority.  Based on your spelling and punctuation, I'd guess that this started in school, where you felt like you were picked on by teachers.

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@valleynative authority and the right to murder,are not the same, and to endanger innocent civilians because you are a coward is not a respectable quality.

valleynative
valleynative

@JustDoIt Nope.  He's still a cop even if you don't happen to understand why he's pulled his weapon.

Why are you so convinced that this was a bad shooting?  If you weren't in the vehicle or very close, all you can have is your personal prejudice.


JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@valleynative @JustDoIt If a copy pulls a weapon on you for no reason whatso ever and threatens your life, they are not a cop their just a person with a gun putting your life, your family, your kids or whoever else in danger, especially if it is unprovoked. Keep killing civilians and see how the public reacts, happened in LA once, start video taping these incidents and show that cops are killing people and see how the public starts reacting. BTW: your ignorance to other persepectives is pretty common.

U.S.A.
U.S.A.

@valleynative  It's wrong to assume that it was a mistake and it's wrong to assume it was not a mistake (as you are doing).  It is not wrong to think about, discuss, and investigate the issue more thoroughly.  

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

@valleynative @JustDoIt Law says you can hold, display your weapon, in the same manner the cop held his, pointed it, and shot not once, twice, 3 times, like over 6 times and we have yet to hear if the weapon found even had its safety on, or was being pointed at the officer. Chances are, he could have been trying to show the officer he had one to avoid this whole thing but instead got mowed down by the officer unloading his clip into him, I think the officer needs to get an on officer camera and every other officer too it is in the publics best interest to know the truth

valleynative
valleynative

@JustDoIt  Read the law.  Better yet, take a concealed carry permit course.  Most of us who carry know to never, ever, unholster in public unless we're about to shoot and are willing to be shot at.

And we've been surviving all around you every day for a long, long time without shooting each other.

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