Convicted bank robber Philip McCall, 50, was shot three times outside his daughter's house. The Monday killing of a mentally-ill convicted bank robber by a federal marshal just a block from campus has angered his neighbors, many of whom have suggested the killing was unnecessary and racially motivated. Phillip McCall, 50, a black man whose crime record includes a string of bank robberies in March of 1989, died Monday in his daughter's backyard after being shot multiple times by U.S. Marshal Deputy Michael Garwood, who came to McCall's home to arrest him for missing a court date. McCall, who is survived by seven children, had a history of mental illness that his family members trace back to 1989, the same year he pled guilty to robbing four banks after his daughter identified him on a surveillance camera. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, McCall was not found to be fit to stand for trial on the robberies until five years later in 1994, after receiving extensive psychiatric treatment, according to court documents obtained by The Philadelphia Daily News. According to most accounts of the incident, Garwood, who was not in uniform, confronted McCall in his backyard after he fled through the house to the back upon first seeing the marshal. Carrying a barbecue fork and a nine-inch knife, McCall began charging at Garwood, according to police, and was at an arm's length away from the marshal when he shot him three times, wounding him in the right thigh, the left arm and the left side of the chest. McCall, lying in a pool of blood outside the house, where he had been babysitting his grandchildren, was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m. His daughter, Phyllis James Brown, was not immediately available for comment, but she told the Daily News that she felt that "it wasn't right the way they killed the man," wondering why Garwood -- presumably aware of McCall's mental condition -- had not simply wounded him. According to a neighbor of Brown's in her 20s, many, perhaps even "a majority of" residents of the townhouse compound where McCall was shot felt the shooting was racially motivated. But the neighbor, who requested anonymity because she did not want her views to be publicly known, said she was "not quick to look at this as a race issue." "I just feel the steps [the marshals] took to apprehend him were overly aggressive," she said. "It seemed like they were shooting to kill." The neighbor added that she felt the marshals should have approached the situation with more caution based on McCall's previous record of mental illness. But if most residents of the neighborhood felt McCall's punishment did not fit his crimes, Lt. Ken Coluzzi, a detective with the Philadelphia Police Department's homicide unit -- which is conducting an investigation into the shooting -- said he expected they would find the shooting to be "justified." Coluzzi, who is involved in the investigation, said that he expected it to conclude by early next week.Comments powered by Disqus
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