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Family IDs man killed at gas station; authorities search for suspect

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The man who was shot and killed at an Arden Hills gas station Monday has been identified as Kelly Phillips, a longtime executive at Boston Scientific and the co-founder of a Minneapolis bar, according to reports.

Phillips, 48, was fatally shot Monday morning moments after stepping out of a BMW at a Holiday gas station on West Highway 96, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said. He and the suspect likely arrived at the gas station together, the sheriff's office said, before the suspect shot Phillips and fled the scene in a dark-colored BMW, leaving him lying in the parking lot.

Phillips was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has not officially released the victim's identity, but friends and family confirmed to the Star Tribune and WCCO that it is Phillips.

Phillips' father told the Star Tribune his son was going to get married in a few weeks.

Denise Kaigler, a senior vice president at Boston Scientific, told BringMeTheNews Phillips worked for the company for 14 years. The company issued a statement Tuesday regarding his death:

We are devastated by yesterday’s unexpected death of our dear friend and colleague, Kelly Phillips. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. 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. He will be sorely missed by his many friends here at Boston Scientific.

Boston Scientific is a leading medical device company that has offices in Massachusetts and Arden Hills, about 2 miles from where Phillips was killed.

City Pages and the Star Tribune say Phillips was the co-founder of the Lush Food Bar in northeast Minneapolis, which opened in 2009. The bar, which was closed Tuesday to remember Phillips, also released a statement regarding his death:

On behalf of the management and staff of Lush Food Bar, it is with our deepest sympathies that we have to share the tragic death of Lush Food Bar co-founder Kelly Phillips. We would like to extend our sympathies to Kelly’s family; his fiancé Nathon and to 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.

The investigation

No arrests have been made, but officials have identified a possible suspect.

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday it is looking for a suspect in connection with the case, according to a news release.

Officials are asking anyone with information on the location of 44-year-old Lyle Marvin Hoffman (pictured at left, also known as Ty Hoffman) to contact the sheriff's office at (651) 266-7320, or call 911.

The Star Tribune and FOX 9 say Phillips and Hoffman were co-founders of Lush Food Bar. Lavender Magazine wrote about the bar when it opened in 2009, noting Hoffman and Phillips were "life partners."

The Pioneer Press, citing court documents, says Phillips had been leasing or renting an apartment to Hoffman in a house near Lush, but in February, Phillips filed an eviction complaint with Hennepin County, which eventually led to the the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office evicting Hoffman in April.

The Star Tribune says at the time of his death, Phillips was engaged to a different man, whom he lived with. Officials executed a search warrant at the home they shared Monday.

The sheriff's office notes nobody has been charged with any crime at this point.

Remembering Phillips

Friends, acquaintances and business associates posted messages of grief and remembrance to social media Tuesday.

Twin Cities Gay Scene, a local magazine, posted on its Facebook page saying: "Our hearts are so heavy this morning learning about the passing of Kelly Phillips. Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends. A very sad time for our community. May he Rest In Peace."

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