Suspected gunman kills self during police standoff

Derek Zagone and Bryan Winslow Phillips (inset)

A Beaumont man was shot and killed at a Texas City apartment complex September 7, reports Joe Stanton, captain with the Texas City Police Department, but before investigators could arrest the prime suspect in the murder, police say the gunman barricaded himself inside a Kemah Walgreens where he fired several rounds at pursuing officers before fatally shooting himself.

Capt. Stanton reports police responded to an emergency call regarding a shooting at the Baypointe Manor Apartments in the 2700 block of Avenue N in Texas City at 2:12 p.m. on Sept. 7. Upon arrival at the scene, the victim, identified as 32-year-old Beaumont resident Derek Ashton Zagone, had already been rushed to the Mainland Medical Center. He later died as a result of a gunshot wound to his chest, reports the Texas City PD.

Police interviewed witnesses to the shooting and began a search for a suspect based on descriptions provided. Their search soon led them to 30-year-old Kemah resident Bryan Winslow Phillips. Officers reportedly learned that Phillips, armed with a handgun, confronted Zagone regarding the theft of one of Phillips’ firearms. Zagone also allegedly produced a handgun during the altercation. Police believe Phillips then shot Zagone a single time in the chest, the injury that ultimately claimed his life.

After learning of the events that preceded the shooting, officers went looking for Phillips to question him, reportedly considering that he may have acted in self-defense. But his subsequent actions, police say, could in no way be considered self-defense.

Texas City detectives were searching for Phillips, but League City police were the ones who finally caught up with him after he reportedly committed a carjacking the morning of Sept. 8.

According to information from the League City Police Department, at approximately 8:35 a.m. that morning, police dispatch received a report that an armed man, later identified as Phillips, stole a vehicle at gunpoint in the 2500 Block of South Shore Boulevard in League City. He led police on a short pursuit, ending at the Walgreens in Kemah at approximately 8:45 a.m. As he exited the vehicle and entered the store, Phillips allegedly shot multiple rounds toward emergency responders.

The Combined Agency Response Team (C.A.R.T.) responded and began negotiations immediately, League City PD reports. The majority of patrons were able to escape from the store, but police say the gunman refused to allow the pharmacist to leave. Police on-scene had access to a live feed camera from Walgreens and were able to see and communicate with Phillips during the standoff. Negotiations ceased at approximately 9:45 a.m. when Phillips shot himself after first releasing his hostage, report police.

Investigators report Phillips was pronounced dead from the self-inflicted gunshot wound. No first responders or bystanders were injured. League City police and the Kemah Police Department are investigating the incident.

Zagone, the shooting victim, had a criminal record, and his Facebook suggests he was interested in the Aryan Circle and identified as a “Peckerwood,” a white supremacist gang member.

Phillips, the gunman who killed himself, also has a lengthy criminal background, according to the database. Prior charges against him include possession of a controlled substance and theft of property, both state jail felonies.

Phillips was additionally identified as the suspect from a robbery that occurred at an emergency room in League City on Sept. 8. Phillips is reported to have entered with a handgun and threatened staff. He then stole medications. When officers arrived, Phillips was gone.