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Neighbors: Man Wounded In Police-involved Shooting Was Working 2 Jobs To Put Himself Through School

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Matt-Rivers-web-headshot Matt Rivers
Matt Rivers joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News team ...
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By Matt Rivers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Those who know 20-year-old Phil Holland say they are shocked something like this could happen to him.

While Holland, the victim of a police-involved shooting, lies in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, neighbors described him as a kind person and a hard worker.

They also said he kept the cleanest porch on the block – freshly painted and always open for a sit-down chat. It’s a testament, they say, to his work ethic and kindness.

“He’s always trying to have conversations with people on the block, always trying to have block parties,” neighbor Christine Harris told Eyewitness News.

“He was a great neighbor…you couldn’t ask for a nicer neighbor,” another, Roy Taylor, said.

The 20-year-old was going to school, friends say, and paying for it by working two jobs – the first, at Philadelphia International Airport as a baggage handler. The second, he’d picked up just a few weeks ago, as a delivery driver at Slices and More.

“You’re just hoping for the best; that’s the first thing that went through my mind,” said Tony Spirokostas, his boss at Slices and More.

Spirokostas called Phil a model employee.

“Came into work early, never said no to anything – nice, clean young guy.”

Back on Phil’s block, neighbors said the shooting says a lot about Philadelphia violence overall – cops drawing their weapons in fear for their lives, a young man fleeing in fear of his own. And all the result of a misunderstanding.

“It’s really hard on the police, and it’s hard on the people,” said Dorothy Harris, the victim’s neighbor.

Eyewitness News was told that Phil was delivering a cheeseburger at the time of the shooting and it was likely his last stop of the night.

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