Detroit officer remembered on 10-year anniversary of his murder
DETROIT (WJBK) - A somber anniversary for a Detroit family as they mark 10 years since their loved one was killed during a carjacking spree.
That victim was an off-duty police officer who proudly served the city. His family is talking about the message they want to send to those living in Detroit.
"I wouldn't recommend or wish that on anybody, getting a call about your son being murdered," said Verselyee Phipps.
Verselylee Phipps remembers that moment like it was yesterday.
Her son Charles Phipps a nine-year-veteran of the Detroit Police Department, was gunned down while off-duty by four men on a carjacking spree.
He was shot several times as he was getting ready to pick up his newborn son.
"He had two sons and a stepson and a stepdaughter," said Ursula McWhorter, who says her brother was a devoted husband and father.
Charles Phipps was described as incredibly generous and gripped by a sense of community that deepened when he first put on his badge.
"Becoming an officer really enforced his understanding of the community and being a part of it and wanting to make a positive difference," said McWhorter.
The manhunt for Phipps' killers went on for about a week. The suspects were caught charged and convicted of crimes ranging from armed robbery to felony murder.
Two of them received life sentences, one of them 35-70 years in prison. The oldest could be released in a decade - if he lives that long.
"I know I need to be over it but I'll never get over that," Verselyee Phipps said. "I have no remorse for them.
"I'm sure not a day goes by that they don't think about what they did," McWhorter said. "Because when they did what they did to Charles, they impacted thousands of people."
Now 10 years later so much has changed in the city Charles Phipps lived and died in - and so much has not.
"So many positive, great things have happened in the city," McWhorter said. "I'm so happy about that and Charles would be so pleased. But the one thing that's not different, that has not changed, is the violence. We have to stop killing each other."
The family is considering starting a college scholarship in his name to keep Charles Phipps' legacy alive.