ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (AP) — A Boston Scientific executive was shot and killed at a gas station in a Minneapolis suburb, and authorities were seeking a business partner of his.
Kelly Phillips, 48, worked for the medical device company in its Arden Hills, Minnesota, office. The gas station where the shooting happened is about two blocks away.
A witness, Josh Polos, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1nLOMrc ) that he had stopped to get gas Monday morning when a BMW pulled in behind him and he heard what he thought was someone yelling at him. Polos said he got out to signal that he was filling up his tank, and the car pulled past his sport utility vehicle and into a parking spot.
Polos said two men got out of the car, and the driver shot the other man three times. The driver fired first as the two were alongside the car, then as the passenger began running and finally in the head as the victim pleaded for his life, Polos said.
Then the shooter got back into the car, backed up, sped forward and ran over the victim, he said.
Police identified a suspect in the shooting as Lyle "Ty" Hoffman, a 44-year-old commercial developer, and distributed a picture of him and asked people with information to call the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office. No one has yet been charged in the case.
Hoffman and Phillips opened a gay bar in Minneapolis five years ago. A Lavender magazine article about the opening described the two as "life partners" as well as partners in the bar.
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."
Phillips' father, Jim Phillips, of Mason City, Iowa, told the Star Tribune that his son had planned to marry his partner, Nathon Bailey, in a few weeks. The shift from planning a wedding to a funeral was difficult, he said.
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."