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Parkland shooting victim was thinking about protecting his daughter as he fought alleged attackers

A man and a 17-year-old allegedly attempted to rob the victim while he was sitting in his car with his young daughter Friday morning.

PARKLAND, Wash. — Matt Philips says the only thing he was thinking about when a man and 17-year-old attempted to rob him in his vehicle Friday morning was protecting his daughter.

"My daughter. My daughter was the only thing I was thinking about," he said after being discharged from the hospital. "She's three years old and she was buckled in the back seat."

The incident began around 6 a.m. when a man and a 17-year-old attempted to rob Philips while he was sitting in his car with his daughter, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department (PCSD).

The suspects allegedly shot the victim and a struggle took place, according to PCSD.

Philips was shot in the mouth. He said he's missing a few teeth and a piece of his tongue.

"At that point, I was kind of realizing but I think it was mostly adrenaline," he said of continuing to fight back against the suspect despite being shot. "I just wanted to get him disarmed and to make sure he had no access to any weapons anymore."

A neighbor said he heard the gunshot from his home and went outside. 

Once outside, he said he saw Philips holding down the adult suspect.

The neighbor grabbed the rifle away from the suspect and then rendered first aid to the victim, according to PCSD.

Arriving deputies found Philips still holding down the suspect and confronted the 17-year-old suspect. PCSD said the 17-year-old suspect pulled out a gun and aimed it at deputies but complied with commands and eventually dropped it.

"He had his daughter in the car. You know? He was just on his way to work and, just people taking opportunities and trying to, you know, hurt other people. It's just not right," the neighbor said.

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The adult suspect was booked into the Pierce County jail for first-degree robbery. The 17-year-old suspect was booked into Remann Hall for first-degree robbery and assault on a police officer.

PCSD said Pierce County prosecutors will review the case for additional charges related to the shooting.

Philips said he's expected to make a full recovery.   

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