Scottsdale Cop Shoots, Kills 72-Year-Old Preston Phillips

A 72-year-old man was shot and killed by Scottsdale police Wednesday in the department's second fatal officer-involved shooting this month.

Preston Phillips Jr. was shot by the officer around 6 p.m. after, police say, Phillips drove up next to the officer, pulled a handgun out of his holster, and "display[ed] it in a threatening manner."

See also:
-Thomas Hawes Fatally Shot by Scottsdale Cops; Five Detectives on Leave
-Scottsdale Police Department Has Quite a Shooting Problem, ACLU Alleges
-David Hulstedt Shot in Back, Then Dragged 400 Feet on Knees by Scottsdale Police
-James Peters, Scottsdale Cop With Six Kills, Approved for Retirement

According to the Scottsdale PD, a woman called police Wednesday about a dispute with her neighbor off Pima Road between Thomas and Indian School roads.

The woman said she just had an argument with the neighbor, apparently about his repeatedly parking his car illegally.

An officer showed up, talked to the woman, and wrote up a citation for the neighbor's truck, which was illegally parked on the sidewalk.

Then, an SUV pulled up to the officer, who went around to the driver's-side window.

As he approached the window, the officer saw the man, later identified as Phillips, pull a pistol from the holster and "display it in a threatening manner," according to police.

The cop, seven-year veteran Officer Nathan Mullins, stepped back and fired multiple shots into the SUV.

More officers arrived by the time police approached the SUV, in which Phillips was dead with his handgun on his lap, police say.

Police believe Phillips never fired the weapon.

Scottsdale police didn't immediately respond to our question of who owns the ticketed truck parked on the sidewalk, but County property records show that Phillips does own a house on that street.

UPDATE: Police say the truck is owned by Phillips' son.

Mullins was placed on leave, as is typically the case in officer-involved shootings.

Earlier this month, 45-year-old Thomas Hawes -- who was wanted for questioning in sex crimes -- was shot by Scottsdale police after being confronted by five detectives. Police said he pointed a gun at himself, then pointed it at the detectives and fired one round. The detectives fired back, killing Hawes.

Police said that the five detectives involved in the shooting also were placed on leave, which is consistent with Scottsdale PD policy.

In September, the Scottsdale PD was targeted with a lawsuit from the ACLU for a department shooting in which former Officer James Peters notched his sixth kill. The ACLU alleged that the Scottsdale PD heads pretty much have a policy of "rubber-stamping" officer-involved shootings as justified.

A little more than a year ago, police responded to John Loxas' home, and he answered the door with his grandson in his arms. He was not armed, but Officer Peters shot him in the forehead, killing him instantly. No other officer fired a shot.

ACLU representatives compared that to the 2008 shooting of David Hulstedt, who was shot, handcuffed, and dragged about 400 feet by Scottsdale cops, in an incident that was captured on videos (linked above).

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley