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Image: Officer Timothy Greene
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Oct 18, 2020
**** THI ****

On Friday, March 15, Timothy Greene's life would change forever. Greene had been with the department under two years and had never once fired his weapon at a suspect. Off-duty at the time, Officer Greene was on his way to a department training session. His police cruiser grabbed the attention of a woman along Dave Lyle Boulevard who began waving him down. She explained to Greene that the Bank of America at Manchester Village was being robbed. Officer Greene immediately called dispatch and headed straight for the bank.

The employees of the bank were able to identify the robber's vehicle, a brown Chevy Blazer. The driver of the Blazer turned out to be John David Phillips, a three time convicted felon from Virginia. Greene used extreme caution while pulling up behind Phillips because he had learned in training that felony suspects should be considered armed and dangerous. He would learn the truth of this defensive tactic very quickly.

Before Greene could even exit his police cruiser, Phillips emerged from the Blazer and began unloading a .40 caliber handgun at him. Thanks to his training, Greene immediately wedged himself under the dashboard placing as much metal between the shooter and himself. Had Greene hesitated, the bullets penetrating the windshield would have struck him. Instead the rounds were busting through the windshield and spraying shards of glass into Greene's face. Phillips fired several shots before jumping into the SUV and taking off down the road. Bloodied, but not hit, Officer Greene notified dispatch of the shooting and began to pursue Phillips.

Before long the Blazer stopped at an intersection. Phillips got out of the SUV and began to open fire. However this time, Greene was ready for him. The firefight commenced once again. Greene hit the driver side door of the Blazer and Phillips hit the squad car several times. Then once again, Phillips jumped back into the Blazer and took off with Greene in hot pursuit.

Phillips stopped a third time to exchange shots with Officer Greene. Yet this time, Phillips brought a high-powered .223 assault rifle into the fight. Greene knew that his cruiser door would deflect most bullets, but would not be enough to stop these rifle rounds. He realized that getting behind his cruiser was the only way to safety. Phillip immediately began firing at Greene. One round penetrated through the car door, barely missing Greene and tearing a hole through his necktie. One shot hit a civilian vehicle close-by. The shooting continued until, once again, Phillips fled away in the Blazer. Greene reloaded as he jumped back into his cruiser and once again followed Phillips.

This chase only lasted approximately a half mile until Phillips stopped the car and came out firing. Another civilian vehicle was hit. By this time, backup had finally begun to arrive. Upon seeing the backup, Phillips sped away and the officers gave chase.