Arden Hills shooting victim remembered by friends

RAMSEY COUNTY, Minn. – The shockwaves continue to be felt in the Twin Cities after the shooting death of Kelly Phillips.

Phillips, a well-known gay rights activist, was shot and killed at a gas station in Arden Hills Monday morning. Police have called Lyle "Ty" Hoffman a suspect.

All day Tuesday, police said they searched for Hoffman, a former business and romantic partner of Phillips. The latest search brought them to the Anoka County/Blaine Airport Tuesday afternoon.

"I saw a lot of guys on their bellies with rifles aimed at a certain area," said witness Scott Wong.

Wong said more than two dozen squad cars moved into an area over the lunch hour, along with a police chopper, after investigators said they got a tip Hoffman may be nearby.

Police would not indicate what specifically brought them to the airport, but after hours of searching, police had not located anyone.

"A friend of mine texted me who said the person who was killed was Kelly. And it was disbelief," said Richard Carlbom, a friend of Phillips.

Carlbom, who lead the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, said Phillips worked very hard for the same goal.

"To know he was three weeks from getting married, my heart breaks for the whole family," he said. "I had the sense this can't be true, this must be a mistake."

He and others remember Phillips as smart, kind and hardworking man who lived to make things better in his community.

"There are people who find it hard to say no," he said. "He never wanted to say no, it was always yes. How can I do more?"


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