Police Officer Richard A. Phillips

Police Officer Richard A. Phillips

El Segundo Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, July 22, 1957

Richard A. Phillips

Police Officer Richard Phillips and Police Officer Milton Curtis were shot and killed after stopping a vehicle for running a red light.

Unbeknownst to the officers, the suspect had just raped a teenage girl after holding two couples at gunpoint. Both officers were shot and killed while they were writing a ticket.

On January 29th, 2003, 45 years after the murders, the 70 year old suspect was arrested at his home in Columbia, South Carolina, as the result of a new FBI fingerprint database. The fingerprints were matched to a 1956 South Carolina burglary and linked to the suspect.

The suspect was convicted of both murders on March 24th, 2003, and sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole in 2009. He will be eligible for parole again in 2017. So he can be near his near his family, he is serving his sentence in the South Carolina Penitentiary.

Officer Phillips had served with the El Segundo Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 10

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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I am a recruit for ESPD currently attending the LASD academy. Although this occurred about 70 years ago, it deeply impacts me. Officer Phillips and his partner died heroes and will never be forgotten in this town.

Recruit Joshua Gilberts
El Segundo Police Department

February 24, 2018

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