Dad shot in mouth protecting daughter from robber

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 2:59 AM EDT
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PARKLAND, Wash. (KIRO) – A father in Washington is out of the hospital after being shot in the mouth defending his daughter from an attempted armed robbery.

Matthew Phillips said he was taking her to day care Friday when it happened.

“But you know what, I’d do it again in a heartbeat to protect my daughter,” he said Saturday. “Because that’s all there is to it. It’s for her. Anything.”

His sister, Chelsea Logan, said it has been an emotional time for the family.

“We got married in February and he was the ‘flower girl’ in Vegas. That’s my brother and mine’s relationship,” she said. “And if I would have lost him, a chunk of me would have went with him.”

Phillips described the incident he said he will never forget.

“As soon as I cut this corner, he came out from the back of this RV and was holding a rifle to the back window, which is where my daughter was sitting,” he said.

He says the man asked for his money and his truck. Once the man came to the driver-side door to take the money, Phillips acted and was able to get the gun away from him.

The man came back with another gun.

“And by the time I had it in gear, he was in front of me,” Phillips said. “He told me to stop. I put it in reverse, he then fired at the truck. Three rounds. One hit me and I took one to the mouth.”

Logan said if the bullet had not ricocheted, her brother likely would not be with them.

Even after being shot, Phillips wasn’t giving up.

“All I could think of was my daughter,” he said. “You’re not getting up. You’re not taking this gun.”

KIRO reported the father was able to pin the man down, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department was called.

“I hope that Bailey grows up and knows that her dad would give his life for her,” Logan said.

With help of neighbors, they were able to hold the attacker off until law enforcement arrived. A female accomplice also had a weapon and pointed it at deputies when they arrived, the department said in a news release.

Deputies ordered her to drop the gun and she complied, they said. Both were taken into custody.

“And to have somebody rush and come help me when I needed it, that was awesome. (My neighbor) was a good guy,” Phillips said.

Phillips said he was thankful for the help and the help of the sheriff’s department.

“My teeth will come back. My tongue will be OK,” he said.

And he was especially happy to spend Father’s Day with the one he loves most.

“I am very thankful that my daughter is still here,” he said.

Phillips will be seeing a dental specialist following the attack. Though he is likely to make a full recovery, he and his family are planning to move after the violent incident.

Copyright 2022 KIRO via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.