A pizza delivery man was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds last night after two plain-clothes policemen fired shots at him.
Phil Holland, 20, had a full-time job in an airport restaurant; he also delivered pizzas two nights a week for Slices and More in Upper Darby. He had just finished delivering a burger and a soft drink on his last run of the night on April 22 when he was confronted by two men with guns at 51st and Willow streets.
The officers, who were investigating a report of gunfire in the area, claim that they identified themselves to Holland as cops. Holland, however, jumped in his car and started driving off.
Police reports claim that Holland tried to run the officers down in his car; both officers opened fire at the car.
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Holland was rushed to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the head, neck and leg. He has already undergone multiple surgeries.
Holland’s boss and neighbors have described him as a humble, hard-working man.
“In the short time I’ve known him that he’s been here, he’s never had an issue – always on time, very prompt. You know, very respectful to everybody,” Tony Spirokostas, Holland’s boss at Slices and More, said of the young man.
Holland lived in Upper Darby with his girlfriend.
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“I’m shocked! I’m shocked anything happened to him. He’s such a nice guy,” his neighbor Dorothy Taylor noted.
“Every time you walked past his house he always [said] hi. He tries to help out everybody,” added neighbor Christine Harris.
Police are currently investigating the incident. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. Although Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross said the officers may have feared for their lives, they violated department policy by firing at a moving car, which poses a danger to innocent bystanders.
“At this time it just appears to be unfortunate for both the officers and this person,” said Ross.
Police have stated that Holland was not armed and does not have a criminal record.