An attorney and girlfriend of a man shot and killed by Largo police say officers went to a funeral home and tried to use the dead man's hand to unlock his cell phone.

  • Linus Phillip Jr. was shot, killed Friday in Largo
  • Shooting happened after traffic stop
  • Detectives accused of trying to use Phillip's hand to unlock phone
  • PREVIOUS STORY: 1 dead in Largo officer-involved shooting

Linus Phillip Jr., 30, was shot Friday at a Wawa gas station. Police said Phillip tried to flee a traffic stop and dragged an officer partially trapped in the door.

On Wednesday, Attorney John Trevena made the accusation about the officers during a news conference.

Phillip's girlfriend said she saw two detectives Monday at the Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home and said the officers were carrying a cell phone in an evidence bag.

Victoria Armstrong said she learned from funeral home staff that detectives showed up to try to unlock Phillip's cell phone with his finger.

"How do you go to a funeral home after he's been at the Medical Examiner's all weekend and pull his dead body out of a refrigerator to try to use his thumb print to get into a phone?” Armstrong said. "It's disgusting and it's so disrespectful to him and our family. We just felt it was the ultimate smack in the face besides him being gunned down."

Linus Phillip Jr. and girlfriend Victoria Armstrong (photo courtesy of Victoria Armstrong)

Armstrong said that despite the detectives' efforts, they weren't able to get into the phone.

Spectrum Bay News 9 called the funeral home to confirm the incident, and Director Christopher Prouty said, "I'm not at liberty to speak about that."

Meanwhile, family members at the news conference said they've spoken to an independent witness who provided a different account of the events leading to Phillip's death. According to the attorney, the family members said the witness said the officer opened fire before the vehicle had moved at all.

Largo Police said Wednesday that because of the ongoing investigation, they are not going to comment any further at this time.

Before that, Lt. Randall Chaney said none of the surveillance cameras at the Wawa captured the actual shooting, because the camera angle was narrow and partially obstructed.

Just after dark on Wednesday, Phillip's family and close friends gathered on the sidewalk outside of the Largo Police Department for a candlelight vigil. The family stated they just want to see the Wawa surveillance camera video of the incident, so they can know for sure what happened to Phillip.

“From everything that we have known so far and the way this thing looks, it smells like foul play," his father, Linus Phillip stated.

He held a sign that stated 'We want closure, release the video.'