64-year-old man dies after altercation with VCU Medical Center security guard

Phillip Whitaker (Photos: Whitaker family)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Police are looking for an eyewitness to an altercation that happened Friday at VCU Medical Center that ended in the death of a Henrico man. 64-year-old Phillip Whitaker, Jr. was pronounced dead on Sunday after he was injured Friday afternoon during an altercation with a contract security guard working at VCU Medical Center, according to police.

When VCU Police officers were called to the ACC Pharmacy, they discovered Whitaker unconscious on the floor with a serious head injury. VCU Police contacted the Richmond Police Department once the doctor determined Whitaker’s injuries were life-threatening.

Whitaker’s children said their father was a kind man who loved making people laugh. They tell 8News they do not believe he was the aggressor in the altercation.

Two daughters of Whitaker spent their day making funeral arrangements for their father.

Tammy Harris said, “Justice will be served it was a very senseless death.”

The two sisters added that they, “Never thought Dad would go to pick up his prescription and not come back.”

On Tuesday, VCU officials said the security guard worked for a company called L.E.W. & Associates. The company is located on Westwood Avenue in Richmond. 8News went to the security company’s office but no answered the door and no one returned our calls made to the company.

VCU Public Affairs released a statement about the incident Monday evening.

“We are heartsick about this tragedy. Our first concern is for the family and we are doing everything we can to support them. At our request, the Richmond Police Department is investigating the incident. We are fully cooperating in that investigation, and therefore must refer questions to them.”

Despite VCU’s pledge of support, Whitaker’s family tells 8News they have not heard anything from the medical center. Police have surveillance video but have not allowed the family to see it. Richmond Police have interviewed the guard and released him temporarily while they consult with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office about charges, which are expected.

They have reviewed the surveillance of the incident and interviewed eyewitnesses, but they are seeking to interview additional people who may have been present when the incident occurred.

Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation are asked to call Major Crimes Detective Michael Gouldman at (804) 646-3915 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens may also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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