PC David Phillips 'murder': Police officer killed in Merseyside hit-and-run named

Police have opened a murder investigation after PC David Phillips was struck by a stolen red Mitsubishi pick-up truck

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The police officer killed in a hit-and-run earlier today has been named as PC David Phillips, a 34-year-old father of two.

PC Phillips was struck by a stolen Mitsubishi pick-up truck that was being pursued by police following a burglary of an estate agent. Those responsible are wanted for murder and are currently on the run.

He had been standing on a central reservation when the stolen vehicle mounted the kerb and hit him at speed before driving off.

Sir Jon Murphy, Merseyside Chief Constable, paid tribute to PC Phillips and warned the gang "We will find you".

Tributes to dead PC

"David's death serves as a reminder of the risks that the men and women of this force and the other forces in the UK face, in serving the public," Sir Jon. 'They come to work, day in day out, knowing the risks they all face.

"But their wives, their husbands, their loved ones and their families expect them to come home at the end of their watch. Sadly, David did not and his daughters will have to grow up without their father."

Colleagues administered emergency first aid at the scene and he was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards, Merseyside Police said.

Police have launched a murder investigation following the incident.

Officers had been called to a burglary in Birkenhead earlier that evening and pursued a red Mitsubishi pick-up from the scene. During the pursuit the vehicle struck PC Phillips on Wallasey Dock North Road, Wallasey, at about 2.08am.

It was later found abandoned in Wallasey.

Floral tributes for fallen PC

PC Phillips was married and he and his wife, Jen, had two young daughters, Abigail, aged seven, and three-year-old Sophie.

"Our thoughts are clearly with them at this time and with his mother and father," said chief constable Sir Jon Murphy.

"This is an incredibly sad day for Merseyside Police."

PC Phillips joined Merseyside Police in 2006 and was described as being popular and held in high regard by his colleagues.

Peter Singleton, the chairman of the Merseyside Police Federation, pledged support for PC Phillip's family and colleagues over the coming months.

He said: "Dave Phillips will be a huge loss to his family, friends and colleagues. He was a dedicated husband, father of two daughters as well as being an enthusiastic and committed police officer."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 2263 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

(Additional reporting by Press Association)