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Family Mourns Loss Of Brilliant Son, Soon-To-Be Husband

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Phillips family says they feel heartbroken after their son was gunned down at a gas station.

The man police want to talk to in connection to his death still hasn’t been found.

Police think Kelly Phillips’ ex-partner, Ty Hoffman, was with him at the Arden Hills gas station Monday morning.

There is now a $1,000 reward for tips that lead to his arrest.

Witnesses say two men drove into the gas station together, and one man got out and shot Kelly three times before driving away.

Kelly was a corporate lawyer at Boston Scientific in Arden Hills, and was about to marry his boyfriend, Nathon Bailey — who found out about the murder when officers took him in for questioning. Nathon was quickly released.

WCCO talked with Kelly’s family in a sit down interview in Mason City, Iowa. They say despite the attention being given to their middle child’s death, they want more focus on his life.

“It’s terrible,” said Kelly’s father, Jim Phillips. “The wedding was going to be in two and a half weeks.”

Nathon traveled to Iowa to see Kelly’s parents after the murder.

“Instead of starting a life together, Nathon will begin one on his own,” said Kelly’s mother, Judy Phillips. “He was still very worried about us and how we were going to cope with this. That’s how caring Nathon is.”

They say Kelly, valedictorian of his law school, was also caring. He had recently received affirmation of how much he was loved.

“I don’t always tell my kids I love them enough or hug them. And 3 o’ clock one morning I got up, I got on the computer and wrote a letter and sent it to the five kids, and I’m so glad I did that before Kelly passed,” Jim said.

Kelly wrote back to say he felt his father’s love. He was vocal about the love for his family until the day before he died.

“He told me he loved me, then and I told him I loved him,” Judy said.

Even though Kelly’s death was violent, Jim says anger will do no good.

In the past year, Kelly’s family had grown quite close to Nathon’s family. The Baileys will return to Iowa Friday for the visitation.

Kelly’s funeral is on Saturday. Funeral arrangements can be found here.

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