Phillips was broadcasting from Brooklyn Centre where protests have been taking place over the death of Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by a police officer on Sunday (11 April).
“There’s a very tense standoff between protesters and police, as you can hear several gunshots,” he said, before a member of the crew interrupted him and warned: “We’ve got gunfire over there.”
Phillips could be seen looking alert and backing away as another person, off-camera, shouted: “Behind the cars. Now! Now!”
The crew then ran for cover, with Phillips explaining in a voiceover: “We heard 20 to 30 gunshots from a group of men towards the police.”
Later on in the programme, the presenter revealed he was wearing a bulletproof jacket while reporting on the protests.
Wright’s death took place just a few miles from where Derek Chauvin is being tried for the murder of George Floyd.
Brooklyn Centre Police Chief Tim Gannon released police video footage that showed Wright being questioned by three officers, and then a female officer shooting him – apparently by mistake.
On Monday evening, the officer was identified as 49-year-old Kimberly Potter, who had served on the force for 26 years. She is currently on administrative leave.
The footage showed the officer, shouting “Taser, Taser”, as police are trained to do when using the non-lethal device. Almost instantaneously, Potter could be heard saying: “Holy s***, I just shot him.”
Gannon said: “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge.”
Yet activists, residents and family members were not impressed by the chief’s words and demanded the officer be immediately fired and charged with murder. They also called for Gannon to lose his job.