Organization remembers man killed in gas station shooting as domestic violence victim

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While the manhunt for the suspect in a murder at a gas station continues, KSTP reports the victim in the shooting is being remembered as a suspected victim of domestic violence.

Lyle "Ty" Hoffman, 44, is the only suspect in the murder of Kelly Phillips, 48, a longtime executive at Boston Scientific. Investigators say Hoffman shot Phillips at a gas station in Arden Hills earlier this week. Hoffman and Phillips were involved in a personal and business relationship that had ended.

FOX 9 reported people who knew the two were aware of the tension between them. Dean Schlaak, owner of the Wilde Roast Cafe which was near the restaurant the men owned, knew about the disagreement between Phillips and Hoffman.

“There were some issues going on with the bar and Kelly was taking control of it, and I don't think Ty appreciated or liked that,” Schlaak said. “Once they put it together I was like, ‘Yeah, I could see something like this maybe happening, unfortunately.'”

An advocacy group that works to end domestic violence will honor Phillips this week by raising "Live Free Without Violence" flags. The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women tracks the domestic violence homicides in Minnesota. In 2013, 40 people were killed, including seven men, making it one of the most deadly years for domestic violence homicides in recent memory.

"We do this to raise awareness about the individual," said Liz Richards, Coalition Executive Director. "Consistently having 20, 25, 30 homicides every year is just appalling."

The website says that every time a domestic violence homicide occurs, "there is a short time of media attention and a community feeling of helplessness."

It continues:

"The flag campaign is a way to give domestic violence homicides more meaning, to give individuals and community groups a way to take action. Each time there is a domestic violence homicide in Minnesota, individuals and organizations will display the flag for one week. Flags will be displayed across Minnesota ... to bring awareness of the domestic violence homicide and to start a local community conversation about ending domestic violence."

Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to Hoffman's arrest.

Funeral services planned

Services to remember Phillips were announced Thursday in an obituary.

A funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Phillips' hometown of Mason City, Iowa. Phillips will be buried following the mass at Memorial Park Cemetery.

A visitation is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the church.

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