About an hour earlier Phillips and Emil Mătăsăreanu entered and robbed the bank but were confronted by LAPD officers when they exited the bank and a shootout between the officers and robbers ensued. The robbers attempted to flee the scene, Phillips on foot and Mătăsăreanu in their getaway vehicle, while continuing to exchange fire with the officers. Phillips was shot in the right hand, causing him to drop his Beretta 92FS pistol. After retrieving it, he placed the muzzle under his chin and fired. Phillips was simultaneously shot by a bullet that severed his spine. (28 February 1997)
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