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Man who shot Denver cop had history of violence

Posted: 6:14 PM, Dec 03, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-03 20:14:01-05

Court records show the fugitive who shot a Denver SWAT officer was originally wanted for shooting his girlfriend last month.

Denver7 talked to Phillip Munoz's estranged wife Thursday, one day after he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with SWAT officers. Denver Police say Munoz drove away from them as they tried to take the suspect into custody. Munoz crashed at West 26th Avenue and Ocseloa Street, where he shot a Denver SWAT officer. The officer is expected to make a full recovery. Munoz was pronounced dead on scene.

Denver SWAT officer shot near Sloan's Lake; Suspect in sheriff's shirt killed

Kimberly Munoz said she's gone by an alias to make tracking her down more difficult for Phillip. She kept her doors locked and curtains pulled until she knew he was no longer a threat.

"Phillip was a terror and he will always be a terror," Kimberly told Denver7.

Kimberly isn't surprised to know Phillip Munoz shot the Denver SWAT officer in his attempt to evade police. It was only after she married him in 2002 that she learned of her husband's violent tendencies. 

"He was very abusive when I was pregnant with our children," she said. "Locking me in the house, beating me up, kidnapping me, pulling me by my hair when I was six months pregnant out a truck."

Kimberly says she left Phillip nine years ago but continued to live in fear until she learned he was taken down by police on Wednesday.

"I opened my curtains, and I opened my door and window today," she told Denver7 Reporter Lance Hernandez.

Denver7 has learned new details from officials about Munoz, who had a long criminal past dating back to 1999 . He spent 5 years, 8 months and 1 week behind bars, in total, for various crimes. That's in addition to 2 years, 5 months and 23 days on parole.

According to court documents, Wednesday's arrest attempt was the result of his most recent alleged crimes.

Denver Police were assisting authorities from Thornton, where Munoz was wanted for allegedly shooting his girlfriend on the evening of Nov. 6.

Girlfriend feared Munoz would have her children and her mother killed

Thornton police found Munoz's girlfriend lying on the stairs outside her third-floor apartment. She had been shot in the chest, and a neighbor woman was holding a towel on the wound to stop the bleeding.

Another neighbor told police that Munoz goes by the nickname "Sleeves," because he has "sleeve" tattoos covering his arms, and he's a drug dealer.

The neighbor said she once saw a backpack filled with "crystal" and several handguns in the girlfriend's apartment, where Munoz often stayed. "Crystal" is slang for the illegal drug methamphetamine, an addictive stimulant that can make meth abusers paranoid and violent.

The neighbor said the girlfriend had on several occasions taken shelter in her apartment from Munoz, who hit her. The neighbor said he was "very controlling," and wouldn't let the girlfriend leave the apartment, wear make-up or shorts, and he had recently turned off her cellphone.    

The girlfriend's 13-year-old son told police that he and his mom had been shopping at Walmart and planned to "never return" to the apartment. "When they realized they had nowhere to go, they went shopping and returned to the apartment," according to an arrest affidavit.

The boy carried a shopping bag up to the apartment and found his mother's boyfriend, who he only knew as "Phil," waiting inside with another man. His mother was outside, keeping an eye on the groceries in a shopping cart.

The boy told investigators that Phil seemed angry and he was holding a paper bag over one of his hands. The boy peeked in the bag and saw the top of a black handgun, the affidavit states. The boy said Phil had several handguns.

After getting the last load of groceries, the boy followed his mother back up to the apartment. As his mother walked into apartment, the boy said he heard a gunshot and his mom grab her arm and fall backward, the affidavit states.

His mother yelled "Sorry!"

Fearing for his life, the boy ran to his aunt's apartment and called the police.

The boy told police that after the shooting, he received a cellphone text message from Phil with a smiley-face emoticon and the word "really."

While in the hospital recovering from the gunshot wound, the girlfriend told police that she intended to escape from Munoz that night and take her son to a shelter. But she didn't reach the shelter and they had to go home.

She said Munoz was upset with her because he likely thought she was with another man after "she was gone for so long" from the apartment.

The girlfriend said after Munoz shot her, he wouldn't let her call 911.

She was afraid that Munoz would retaliate against her sons and her mother. She believed that Munoz "will have them killed even if he is in prison or jail," the affidavit states.

Estranged Wife is grateful police stopped Munoz

Munoz's estranged wife, Kimberly, is grateful police stopped Phillip.

"Just pray for the officer. Blue lives matter," she said.

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