The young children of Pc Dave Phillips have described him as “the best dad ever”.
In an emotional video posted on YouTube by Merseyside Police, the officer’s seven-year-old daughter Abigail read out touching tributes alongside her younger sister Sophie, aged three, Pc Phillips’s nephew Thomas, aged seven, and his four-year-old niece Annabel.
“My daddy was a lovely and kind and caring dad,” Abigail said.
She added: “My daddy is kind and caring because he gives the best kisses and cuddles. He is my hero. I love you daddy.”
The child, reading handwritten notes on a large piece of paper, said: “My daddy was kind and caring because he was the funniest daddy ever.”
She added: “My dad was the best dad ever because he spent all his money on me and my little sister Sophie and my mum and my cousins Annabel aged four and Thomas aged seven. He also spent all his money on all our holidays.”
At a press conference, Dave George, the officer’s childhood friend and best man at his wedding in 2011, said: “Words can’t describe what Dave means to us and how all his family and friends are hurting at this time.”
He added: “He was never happier than talking about his wife, children and family.”
His “first priority in life” was to provide a “warm, loving home for his family”, Mr George said.
The officer’s youngest sister, Kate Phillips said: “I was fortunate enough to call you my brother. He means so much to so many people. He was our world and our world has become a little darker for all who knew him.”
I was fortunate enough to call you my brother. He means so much to so many people. He was our world and our world has become a little darker for all who knew himThe officer’s youngest sister, Kate Phillips
The parents of Pc Phillips, Robin and Carol, his youngest sister Kate, middle sister Hannah and her husband and their two children also visited the scene along with Jen’s parents Robert and Kerry, and Jen’s sister Rachel and her partner Anna.
Pc Phillips “didn’t stand a chance” as he was hit by a Mitsubishi L200 Challenger pick-up truck stolen in a 1am burglary in Birkenhead and being chased in a 40 minute pursuit by police.
He and a colleague attempted to use a “stinger” device to puncture the vehicle’s wheels on Dock Road in Wallasey, but it mounted a central reservation and headed directly at the officer plouging into him before speeding off.
He was given CPR by colleagues at the scene but died a short time later at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral. The pick-up was later found abandoned nearby.
Today Pc Phillips family arrived in a fleet of eight cars and spent around half an hour at the scene where he was killed.
Mrs Phillips crouched down to lay flowers, gently hugging and encouraging Sophie and Abigail, the older girl looking red-eyed and bewildered, as around a dozen other family members looked on from a short distance.
Both girls were hugged by other family members, then taken away by police family liaison officers to wait in a car nearby, Abigail looking back longingly at her distressed mother who remained at the shrine of flowers for her husband.
After her daughters left, their mother was comforted by other family members who came forward to lay their own flowers.
Jen Phillips spent around 20 minutes tenderly touching the flowers left by colleagues of her husband, friends and strangers, reading the messages of condolence and sympathy.
Sobbing, she was hugged and held in the arms of her many loved ones, constantly being comforted by her close family who had come to pay their respects at the roadside where her husband was murdered.
After Mrs Phillips took comfort from the many messages of support, the family reunited in a close circle near the flowers, exchanging more silent, tearful hugs, before they walked back to their cars and were driven away.
The officer’s parents, Robin and Carol, left a flowers and a message from “mum and dad”.
It read: “To our darling, beloved, wonderful son. It’s so hard to accept that we will never see you again, laugh with you, talk to you ever again. We are broken, but you will always, always be forever in our hearts.”
A huge media pack stood a respectful distance away as the family stood sharing embraces, some in tears, others looking blank-faced and shell shocked before they left.
Among the floral tributes is an Everton shirt, and many blue ribbons and flowers, in the colours of the officer’s favourite football team.
Pc Phillips always elected to police Everton games and it is understood he had planned to take his eldest daughter to her first game at the club’s Goodison Park home, but never got the chance.
Later today at Merseyside Police HQ in Liverpool, around a dozen members of the family are expected to pay tribute to Pc Phillips at a press conference, attended by his widow, the officer’s sister Hannah and Dave George, who has known him since their school days and was his best friend.
Two men in custody, along with two women aged, 19 and 34, are still being questioned by police.