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Retired Arizona Police Sergeant Killed By Hit-And-Run Driver

Tempe, AZ – A search is underway for the driver responsible for killing a retired Arizona State University police sergeant during a hit-and-run crash on Friday morning.

Retired Arizona State University Police Department (ASUPD) Sergeant Al Phillips was out for his daily morning walk at Dec. 10 when a driver crashed into him near Forest Avenue and Mill Avenue at approximately 7:40 a.m., KNXV reported.

His wife, Donna Phillips, said her husband met up with friends each morning to walk with friends at nearby Kiwanis Park, according to KNXV.

Witness Judith Candiani said she called 911 as soon as she saw the retired police sergeant lying on the ground.

“I saw him there,” Candiani told KNXV. “I knew, immediately, it was the guy that walks every single morning.”

The driver who hit Phillips fled the scene, leaving the retired sergeant dying in the roadway.

Phillips was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, KNXV reported.

Police are still working to identify the hit-and-run driver.

“He stole my husband’s life,” Donna Phillips told KNXV. “You know you hit him. To leave the scene? I think you are a coward…Man up and do the right thing, you know? Turn yourself in and deal with it. I mean, you did this. For the rest of your life, you’re not gonna be comfortable. You’re gonna be hunted.”

Donna Phillips said her husband was a “hands-on” police officer who “liked to help people.”

Sgt. Phillips joined the ASUPD in 1985 and served his community for 27 years prior to retiring in 2012, the police department said in a Facebook post the day he was killed.

“It’s with heavy hearts we announce the sudden loss of retired Sgt. Al Phillips,” the ASUPD wrote. “Rest in Peace, Sgt. Phillips, and thank you for your service.”

A fundraising page established to help the retired police sergeant’s family with funeral costs has raised over $400 so far.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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