The Merseyside police officer who was killed in a hit and run involving a stolen pick-up truck in the Wirral has been named as PC David Phillips. A murder investigation has been launched after Phillips was struck down by a red Mitsubishi pick-up vehicle after it mounted the central reservation at Wallasey Dock North Road, Wallasey, at about 2.08am on 5 October.
He was killed after attempting to stop the stolen car using a 'stinger' device, along with one other on-duty officer. Phillips had been deployed to assist following a burglary at an estate agent's premises on Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, just after 1am that morning.
During the burglary, the suspects stole the vehicle that was spotted by a police patrol car being driven at high speed. A pursuit was then undertaken in a bid to apprehend the offenders. Merseyside Police chief constable Sir Jon Murphy said Phillips "didn't stand a chance" after the car mounted the kerb and struck the 34-year-old down.
The father-of-two was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was the first Merseyside police officer to be killed on duty since 1981.
Having joined the force in 2006, Phillips was popular and "highly competent" officer. Murphy added his death "serves as a reminder of the risks that the men and women of this force face in serving the public every day".
He leaves behind two daughters, Abigail, aged seven, and Sophie, three, and his partner Jen. The stolen Mitsubishi involved in the hit-and-run was later found abandoned in Corbyn Street, Wallasey.
Peter Singleton, Chairman of Merseyside Police Federation, said: "Dave Phillips will be a huge loss to his family, friends and colleagues. He was an enthusiastic officer. We are supporting his family at this tragic time. His colleagues are understandably devastated at his death and we are supporting them. This is a desolate day for Merseyside Police."
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "PC Phillips went to work to serve the people of Merseyside, his family could never expect that he'd never return home. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with David's family, friends and colleagues.
"Police officers are on the front line every day protecting our communities. It is a dark day. PC Phillips went to work to serve the people of Merseyside, his family could never expect that he'd never return home."
Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement: "My thoughts are with the family and friends of the officer who has sadly died and with his many colleagues in Merseyside Police and the wider policing community. The police strive to keep us and our families safe, taking risks so we can live peacefully.
"When a police officer falls in the line of duty, their death is a reminder of the very real dangers they face day in, day out, as they put themselves in harm's way to deal with violent criminals and dangerous situations."
Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, said: "We absolutely condemn the murder of this neighbourhood patrol officer, killed during the course of their duties.
"As a council, we will do whatever we can to assist the police in their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. I would like to extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the officer, and of course colleagues, who will be feeling the loss of one of their own very deeply this morning."