Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Scott Edward Phillips

New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire

End of Watch Tuesday, August 19, 1997

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Trooper Scott Edward Phillips

RIP Trooper Phillips and fellow Military Police Officer. You served your country and you state with bravery, honor and distinction.

SFC William Farrell
US Army Military Police, Ret

August 19, 2020

Thank you for your service and rest in peace always knowing that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 19, 2020

You’ve been gone for a few years sir however, I’m sure you left a mark on many peoples lives who still remember you to this day. Thank you for your service. RIP

Yajahira Tafolla
Pomona Police Department Explorer Post 160

March 10, 2020

Dear Scott,

We started in the same platoon & squad at the 549th and then we both moved to the PMO. One night on the graveyard shift we were out on the front porch of the PMO, shooting the breeze. You told me you were planning on joining the state troopers when you got out of the Army. After we left Panama the next time I saw your face was when I opened Parade magazine and read what had happened. I cried; you were the most squared away MP I ever had the pleasure of working with, and I always knew you would be successful. You were - but you were robbed of a long life, and your family and friends had someone special ripped away from them far too soon. You were a credit to every organization you were ever a part of, and every uniform you ever wore, and I am so glad I had the chance to know you. I hope you are at peace wherever you are.

SSG Janet T. Simmons
549th MP Co, Ft. Davis, Panama

October 16, 2017

RIP Trooper

Printed in the Valley News
N.H. Town Recalls Deadly Shooting

By Kathy Mccormack
Associated Press
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Print
Twenty years ago, an angry loner with a gun murdered four people, two of them state troopers, in the New Hampshire town of Colebrook, wounded four other officers and was killed in a shootout with police in Vermont.

Today, people still hesitate to mention Carl Drega’s name, but they strive to remember the four lost on Aug. 19, 1997.

“One thing we try to avoid is talking about Carl Drega,” said Lt. Gary Prince, commander of Troop F in Twin Mountain, where the two fallen troopers were based. “What happens is that name is the only name that people know. ... We try to make it about the victims and their families, as opposed to the perpetrator of it.”

Troop F is organizing a 55-mile relay run Friday in New Hampshire from the supermarket where troopers Les Lord and Scott Phillips were shot, along Route 3 to the Twin Mountain barracks. Runners will take turns through the night to “bring memories of their fallen brothers from the north country back to their barracks.” It will culminate with an annual flag-raising ceremony that has come to honor all fallen officers.

“Nobody was working here at the time when they were killed, but yet here we are still, keeping their memory alive, so that’s important,” Prince said.

Also being remembered are Vickie Bunnell, an attorney and part-time judge killed outside her office at the Colebrook News & Sentinel, and editor Dennis Joos, who tried to wrestle away Drega’s assault rifle. A monument to the four with their images is near the paper.

For a small group who knew the four well, though, the memories of the shooting are still raw.

“It’s a stumbling block for me, in a way,” said John Harrigan, of Colebrook, who was publisher of the News & Sentinel. “I replay the whole thing every now and then in my mind and just wonder why I was not one of the dead. I was supposed to stay in my office in the afternoon and go fishing with Vickie’s dad.”

Drega, 62, a carpenter in nearby Columbia, had a long history of conflict with town officials over property issues. Some believed he blamed his wife’s 1972 death from cancer on stress from the disputes. The town took him to court over a zoning violation because he refused to finish a tar paper-covered house.

One night in 1991, Drega wouldn’t leave town hall as he rummaged through property files. Bunnell, then a town selectwoman, called state police, who handcuffed and removed him. On another occasion, Bunnell and a tax assessor went to Drega’s house, where Drega fired shots to scare them off.

That Aug. 19, Phillips wanted to talk to Drega about his rusted-out pickup. He saw it parked at the supermarket and pulled in, radioing Lord that he was there. As Phillips got out of his cruiser, Drega raised an assault rifle and started shooting. Phillips ran for cover. Lord, who didn’t know what had happened, pulled into the parking lot. Drega opened fire. He went back to Phillips and shot him several more times before driving away in Phillips’ cruiser.

Shortly afterward, Drega shot Bunnell and Joos. Drega then drove to his home in Columbia and set it on fire. He headed into Vermont with police following, wounded four officers and was killed in gunfire in the woods.

John Pfeifer, a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was coming to the aid of a wounded trooper, was struck in the shoulder by a bullet. It pierced his lung before exiting out his back.

“I’m waiting for help because where my position is now, no one can come up to get me because they’re going to expose themselves to this guy shooting at them,” Pfeifer recalled. I don’t know the timeline. It seemed like forever. ... My whole left side was starting to go numb. And I just wanted to stay conscious so that I could defend myself if he came down over the bank.”

Police later found thousands of rounds of armor-piercing ammunition, dozens of pipe-bomb casings and motion sensors at Drega’s home.

“He had been probably conspiring to do something at a higher level, and he just so happened to be pulled over that day, and went sideways,” said Pfeifer, who now commands the Border Patrol sector running 295 miles from Ogdensburg, N.Y., to the New Hampshire-Maine line. “But what his ultimate plans were, I’m not sure if anybody ever knew or knows what they were.”

In addition to the monument, a mountain has been named for Bunnell. Portions of Route 3 in northern New Hampshire have been named after Lord and Phillips. A library in Colebrook was named for Joos.

Their loss still lingers.

“This is still a very horrible time,” said Scott Stepanian, the school resource officer in Colebrook who worked as a trooper alongside with Lord and Phillips. “All four people were just the salt of the earth.”

Police Officer - Retired
New York City Police Department

August 13, 2017

Never forgotten

90th Brother

July 23, 2016

Rest in peace Scott

SFC Greg Werthmuller
US Army, Retired

August 19, 2015

In our time of what seems to be undaunted hatred for the brave men and women who wear the badge of honor I wanted you and your family to know that many of us greatly appreciate your sacrifice. 18 years may have passed but you are not, and never will be, forgotten Scott.

TFC Charles Hanson
Retired, NH State Police

May 23, 2015

Remembering you and your family on this Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day. Your buddies won't forget.
B Co, 12th MP Bn
549th MP Co, Panama

M/Sgt. D.C. Stahl
Charles County Sheriff's Office

May 15, 2015

Thank you for your service and unselfish sacrifice for your fellow man! You belong to HIM now and forever! May your family and friends find comfort and peace in that fact. God Bless!

Rev. Steven R. Closs, D.D.
Retired Captain, Nashua Police Department, Nashua, NH

June 9, 2013

I was 15 years old when this occurred and can remember it. I was on vacation in Maine with my family when the news spread all over the north country. God bless Trooper Phillips and Trooper Lord you will always be remembered.

Police Officer
Wallingford, CT Police Dept

April 17, 2012

Trooper Phillips that day of your murder along with Trp. Lord will burn always in my memory. As I stood in formation on the day of your funeral, I said a prayer for you and your family escecially your children. As a fellow LEO & a NH native I felt a personal loss when I saluted you and Les as you entered the gym that day. I never met you but I hope to honor you memory as I continue in my tour of duty. My god bless you & your family and I hope to one day meet you and sake your hand in the Kingdom of our Lord. Thank you for your dedication to duty.

Wayne Lavertue,Immigration Enf. Agent
Department of Homeland Security

April 20, 2010

REST IN PEACE SIR.

KEVIN FELZ
COLUMBUS OHIO POLICE DEPT/U S ARMY MP

September 9, 2008

Scott,

I can not believe it has been over ten years since that day. I still remember everything as if it were yesterday. You were a great man, you made a good impression on me when i as a young boy, both you and Les were family to me. I still mourn your loss and Les's loss everyday. I now wear a badge over my heart just like you did. I hope i can be as good as an officer as you were. Thank you for all the laughs and thank you most of all for your friendship. You will always be missed.

Deputy Sheriff MIchael J. Sielicki jr
Monroe County Sheriff's Department

February 2, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Sergeant
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 11, 2007

Scott,

I didn't know about your death until I read it here on this site. The tragedy with which you and your fellow Trooper met death was humbling to read to say the least. I am sorry for what happened to you that day - and it is indeed a comfort to know that people of your caliber are out there on the roads day in and day out helping us "civilians."

I realize these are just words but I have the utmost respect for you and your fellow Trooper and Officers everywhere. Thank you.

Scott Day
Former NH Resident
Former Navy Submariner

Scott Day
Police Supporter

November 21, 2007

Rest in peace brother.

Patrolman
Manchester NH

October 16, 2007

10 years have passed since your brutal murder. May your family be comforted by the fact that you will FOREVER be a hero and will NEVER be forgotten! Until one day in Heaven we meet, keep walking your beat on the Golden Street keeping an eye on the thin blue line.

DET SGT, Retired
AR

August 19, 2007

My prayers are with you and your family.

Former N.H. Police Officer
Fauquier County, VA

August 19, 2007

I was only a boy of 12 on that summer day when your life was cut short by a man with a rifle and an agenda. The last ten years have given way to several interpretations as to what unfolded when you pulled that man over in that parking lot. With opinions as to how your young life came to end the fact remains the same,you made the ultimate sacrifice and for that you will always be remembered Trooper Phillips. Two years ago I visited the Fallen Officers Memorial in Concord NH and ran my hand over your name and Trooper Lord's name both etched in granite as I remembered the events of that day as they unfolded on the television. I vivdly remember hearing of your tragic encounter with a man who had no reason or rational thinking. My father also lost a close friend that day. Like you and Trooper Lord and Mr. Joos, Vickie Bunnell also fell victim to that tragic hot day during that New Hampshire summer. In closing, rest easy Trooper Phillips,you have not been forgotten by this New Hampshire boy.

NH Citizen

August 19, 2007

MY CONDOLENCES,
I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR THE LOSE OF YOUR OFFICERS. THERE IS NO JUSTICE FOR SUCH A CRIME.I AM MAKING A QUILT FOR PEOPLE TO REMEMBER OFFICERS JUST LIKE THESE THAT PUT THEIR LIFE ON THE LINE EVERY DAY , SO WE CAN LAY OUR HEAD DOWN AT NIGHT IN A SAFE PLACE. IT WILL ALSO HONOR FIREFIGHTERS AND THE MILITARY. GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU DO PUT YOURSELF IN THE LINE OF FIRE EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIFE. MAY EVERY DAY GOD WATCH OVER YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL
TONIE STIERWALT
9490 WEST STATE ROAD 48
BLOOMINGTON INDIANA 47404

TONIE STIERWALT
VISTOR

April 16, 2007

Scott,
I never had the chance to meet you, but have heard the great stories about you and your relationship with the people there. Working with the Division, I had the opportunity to work in the North Country and visit your place of rest. It was a somber moment, yet my FTO and good friend of yours, Scott Stepanian, shared his rituals and thoughts with me. As a rsult, I think of you every time I see a Mountain Dew and make sure your plate number is in the snow so everyone knows the sacrafice you and others have made. Gospeed and watchover us from above until one day we can meet face to face.

Brother!

Brother in arms
NHSP

February 19, 2007

Sir, I honor your service and your sacrifice. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9.

Daniel
Brother of A Deceased LEO - NH

October 17, 2006

Dear Scott:
Though you are no longer here where you can be seen and heard, you are STILL with us, now and forever. Your service and your sacrifice has immortalized you, and you will NEVER be forgotten.
Each time I read about a brother officer who has given his all, having recently been involved in a gun battle myself, I thank our Heavenly Father for keeping me safe, yet I find myself asking Him when will the carnage to my brother officers cease?
May God keep you in His arms, in His heart, and ease your family's sorrow and pain. Rest easy brother, until we meet in a better place. I am certain you are in Heaven...you did your time in hell. We have the watch. "In valor, there is hope." Amen.

Detective Ron Tomassi
Palm Beach Sheriff's Office-Florida

October 10, 2006

Scott,

I came up to see you a month ago, to pay my respects. I cleaned all the dust and leaves off your bench I can't believe it's already been 9 years. I remember the day it happend just like it was yesterday. Watch over us brother, until we meet again.

Patrolman
New Hampshire

September 16, 2006

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.