Marshall Demetrius Moyd
Ted Vincent CarterVIRGINIA BEACH
Detective Michael Smith Phillips was sitting in a pickup truck with a suspect, in the middle of an undercover operation to buy half a pound of marijuana, when another man came up and shot him three times in the torso, Virginia Beach Police Chief Jake Jacocks said in a press conference Friday.
Phillips, 37, and a member of the department’s Special Investigations Unit, was armed but was not wearing a bulletproof vest and was pronounced dead at the scene, Jacocks said.
The other suspect ran from the truck, according to Jacocks, who would not identify which of two men arrested was believed to be the shooter.
Police, who had been monitoring the drug buy, swept in and arrested one suspect as he attempted to take money from the officer’s body which was outside the truck, Jacocks said.
Everything had been going according to plan, Jacocks said, until the second man approached the driver’s side of the pickup and shot Phillips.
The undercover operation occurred about 10:45 p.m. Thursday night in the parking lot of the Green Run Shopping Center, in front of a USA Discounters furniture store, police said.
Jacocks would not give details on the extent of the undercover operation or how many officers were in the vicinity when the shooting occurred.
Phillips, who spent three years as a patrol officer for the Hampton Police Division before coming to Virginia Beach in 2002, is survived by a wife and two sons, ages 12 and 8.
Two men have been charged. Ted Vincent Carter, 23, and Marshall Demetrius Moyd, 26, both of the 900 block of S. Clubhouse Road, were arrested shortly after the shooting, police said.
They are charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and conspiracy to violate the Drug Conspiracy Act.
A search warrant affidavit filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court alleges that Carter fired the shots.
Moyd told investigators, the affidavit claims, that he had called Phillips to set up the deal. Moyd said he picked Carter up at his house where he had the marijuana, a shotgun and a handgun, the affidavit claims.
The affidavit also claims that Carter called his mother after being arrested and asked her to get rid of a firearm he had at home.
In separate three minute hearings in Virginia Beach General District Court today, Carter and Moyd declined appointment of a public defender. Each said he would obtain his own attorney. Both were ordered to appear in criminal court on Aug. 22 to inform the court who would be representing them.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 19.
The two remained in custody at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.
Court records show both men have been convicted of previous crimes. Carter was convicted two years ago in Virginia Beach of carrying a concealed weapon, while Moyd was convicted six years ago in Norfolk of firearm and drug possession charges.
Moyd had been released from the Virginia Beach jail just hours earlier Thursday after posting bond. He was arrested Tuesday on a charge of failing to appear in court on another charge, according to court and jail records.
About 100 yards from the shooting scene, near an exit to the shopping center, a large SUV, its headlights still burning, sat hours later with a flat front tire. Around the area, police had established a second crime scene.
Bernstein said the second crime scene is where the two suspects were arrested. No other suspects are being sought, he said.
For about two hours after the shooting, officers restricted traffic at the intersection of Lynnhaven Parkway and Holland Road. After 1 a.m., traffic signals returned to normal operation.
Bernstein said the last time a Virginia Beach officer was killed in the line of duty was five years ago.
Standing across from the Green Run Shopping Center, Bernstein and his fellow officers already had black slashes across their badges. It's a gesture of respect, Bernstein said, and the slash will remain in place until after the officer's funeral.
"The Police Department is one giant family," he said. "This is the worst part of the job."