Police Officer Richard A. Phillips

Police Officer Richard A. Phillips

El Segundo Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, July 22, 1957

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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 was denied parole in 2009 and died in prison in January 2017.

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 Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

View all 56 Reflections

It was 62 years ago today that you were ambushed while doing your duty. I was an eight year old at the time, living in this small town. I always remembered the incident and followed it closely, as did my younger brother. I got a call one day from my brother advising me that the "cop killers" were to be on "Cold Case Files". I was glad that the perpetrator was finally going to be punished. It wasn't right that he got to spend his entire life free only to spend his declining years being supported by the taxpayers.

Dennis W. Barrett

July 29, 2019

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