Friends Say Suspect Is Ex-Boyfriend Of Victim

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity and photo of the suspect sought in connection to the fatal shooting of a Boston Scientific executive at an Arden Hills gas station.

The suspect is identified as 44-year-old commercial developer Lyle Marvin Hoffman, who is also known as Ty Hoffman.

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(credit: Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

On Monday morning, authorities said the victim, Kelly Phillips (pictured below on the right, Hoffman on the left), and the shooter pulled into the gas station in a dark-colored BMW with Minnesota license plate 004-EYY near the gas pumps. Both men got out of the vehicle and had some sort of disagreement. That’s when the driver fired at least three shots hitting Phillips.

Frank Antencio, a witness to the shooting, said it was brutal.

“The guy went right over the top of him and shot him in the back of the head, literally in broad daylight. Right in the back of the head. He got in the car and it looked like he was struggling to get the car in gear or whatever, backed up, then ran over the guy’s legs as he was leaving and took off on 96,” Antencio said.

Chief Deputy John Kirkwood said Phillips died before he arrived to the hospital.

Phillips, 48, worked for Boston Scientific in its Arden Hills office. The gas station where the shooting happened is about two blocks away.

The BMW was found in Blaine late Monday night.

There is no one in custody or any charges in connection to the crime at this time, the sheriff’s office said.

Friends told WCCO that Hoffman is Phillips’ ex-boyfriend and the two once co-owned the gay bar Lush together. A Lavender magazine article about the opening described the two as “life partners” as well as partners in the bar.

Phillips had filed an eviction complaint against Hoffman in Hennepin County housing court in February, and Hoffman was evicted in April, according to documents.

Authorities also questioned another man that they later freed.

Phillips’ father told WCCO that his son was about to get married to his fiancé, Nathon Bailey (pictured right).

(credit: Bill Phillips)

(credit: Bill Phillips)

Bailey’s brother, Adam Bailey, says he hopes Phillips is in “a better place.”

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“My brother loved Kelly very much,” Bailey said.

Boston Scientific spokeswoman Denise Kaigler said in an email that employees have been devastated by Phillips’ death.

“Kelly will be remembered not only for his great skills as a lawyer, but also for his kindness, gentleness and ability to make those around him feel better about themselves,” she said. “He will be sorely missed by his many friends here at Boston Scientific.”

Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey said Phillips had been active in community issues and the push for gay marriage in Minnesota.

“He was heavily involved in his community in every single respect,” Frey said. “While he had money, he just didn’t donate. He was knocking on dorm room doors for marriage equality. He didn’t just sit up on his perch and look down at the world. He got his hands dirty and worked the community.”

The management of Lush released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

“On behalf of the management and staff of Lush Food Bar, it is with heartfelt sadness that we share in the tragic death of Lush Food Bar co-founder, Kelly Philips.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Kelly’s family, his fiancé Nathon, and his many friends.

Kelly founded Lush Food Bar five years ago and was a driving force in the community. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

Kelly was an active ambassador within the GLBTQ community and worked tirelessly for marriage equality. Kelly was planning a wedding with his partner Nathon in just a few short weeks, partly the fruition of his efforts on behalf of marriage equality.

Lush Food Bar and our community has experienced a great loss, and we are managing this tragic event with the care and thoughtfulness. Lush Food Bar will reopen at the appropriate time.”

Multiple police agencies surrounded a pair of hangers at the Anoka County Airport Tuesday afternoon after receiving information that Hoffman may have been hiding there, but he was not found.

Anyone with information regarding Hoffman’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 651-266-7320 or 911.

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