MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a month on the run, suspected killer Ty Hoffman appeared in court on second-degree murder charges Friday afternoon, and bail was set at $2 million.
Hoffman, 44, was formally charged Thursday with second-degree intentional murder. On Friday afternoon, he appeared in court wearing a bulletproof vest and no handcuffs.
He is being held in the Ramsey County Detention Center, where police have been interrogating him to try and find out if anyone had helped him while he was a fugitive. If that turns out to be the case, there will likely be others charged in connection with his month-long run from the law.
Police caught up with Hoffman Thursday morning in Shakopee after someone called in a tip. He was found standing at the drive-thru menu of an Arby’s restaurant and taken into custody without incident.
Investigators say Hoffman allegedly shot and killed his ex-boyfriend Kelly Phillips at an Arden Hills gas station on Aug. 11. Witnesses said that Hoffman shot Phillips twice at a distance, and then a third time in the back of the head at point blank range, according to a criminal complaint released Friday.
Police say the murder weapon was a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, as .45 caliber shells were found at the crime scene.
During their investigation, authorities searched a downtown Minneapolis condo where Hoffman sometimes stayed. Police searched the condo with the owner’s permission and found a suitcase containing Hoffman’s passport, prescription medication, and an ammunition magazine for a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun.
The magazine held 13 live rounds consistent with the caliber, type and brand of the shells found at the murder scene and in Phillips’ body, the complaint states.
As yet, police say they are still searching for the gun.
When they were a couple, Hoffman and Phillips lived together, and were business partners, witnesses told authorities. Phillips owned the bar Lush in Minneapolis, and Hoffman managed it.
But when they broke up, Hoffman was evicted from the Phillips’ home and fired from Lush. He had no forwarding address, the complaint states.
It also says Hoffman stole business records from the bar after he was fired.
In addition to killing Phillips, Hoffman is also suspected of robbing a bank in Blaine on Labor Day weekend.
There followed a number of sightings and serious police searches throughout the Twin Cities, leading up to Thursday’s breakthrough.
Police say in their experience people who are on the run simply get tired and don’t want to run anymore, and that may be why Hoffman was arrested without incident.