Phil worked in the Baltimore Police Department and was the captain of a SWAT unit. He and his wife Betty tried to have children, but both attempts resulted in miscarriages. Unbeknownst to him at the time, Betty became addicted to painkillers she had to take. She eventually hired a hitman named Giuseppe Montolo to kill her dealer out of shame for what she had to do in exchange for drugs. Eventually, he found out when Montolo held Betty hostage during the former's search for another client who ordered his own hit. Phil apparently forgave her for her actions, and then, in an effort to protect her, began helping her assist Montolo in his later crimes.
After Montolo learns about Al Eisenmund, the man who ordered a hit on him, he tracks him down at his car garage and almost kills him, but Phil warns him that the BAU is closing in. Montolo leaves, but not before gluing a grenade to Eisenmund's hands. He is then picked up by Betty, who got help from her husband to pass the barricade. Phil later returns home, only to be forced in his car by Montolo at gunpoint. While driving, Wilson gets a call from Hotch, who pretends to be his wife, making sure that Montolo doesn't become suspicious. Later, Montolo calls the number again, and Phil speaks to Doctor Tara Lewis, who subtly warns him that he needs to keep his head down, as an ambush is being set up at the location he is driving to. Realizing that Montolo is becoming aware of the situation, Phil opens fire on him with a concealed 9mm Heckler & Koch USP handgun. After Montolo escapes, Phil points his gun under his chin and prepares to commit suicide. Reid stops him from doing so by saying that Phil can testify on his wife's behalf, to minimize both of their punishments, and that he did what he did out of love for Betty. He is later seen being arrested and taken into custody.