Update: Police searching for leads in Branton Woods Drive shooting death

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 9, 2013 

Investigators are searching for leads after Andy Phillip was shot to death inside a car on Branton Woods Drive early Wednesday, Columbus police said.

Phillip, 30, of Columbus, was found dead in his mother’s 1997 Mazda Protege outside of 2934 Branton Woods Drive around 12:30 a.m. He had a gunshot wound to the back and a cut on his head. He was in the front passenger seat of the four-door car and his feet were sticking out of the driver’s side door.

Muscogee County Deputy Coroner Charles Newton said Phillip was pronounced dead on the scene at about 1:13 a.m. His body has been sent to the crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy today.

At the scene, authorities said there was evidence of bullets fired into the car from the rear passenger window.

Police Lt. Greg Touchberry said there is some indication of bullets fired into the car. “We are still waiting on some test results,” he said. “I can’t tell you if it was one gun or two guns. There were indications on the car that bullets were being shot.”

No motive or suspect has been found in connection with the shooting. Police aren’t sure the street is where the shooting occurred.

“I can’t say it took place at that location,” Touchberry said. “That is just where he was discovered.”

The victim’s family lived around the coroner on Viking Drive. Phillip had been at the home, but family members weren’t aware that he had left.

Police are still going over the vehicle at the Public Safety Center. Branton Woods Drive is one block off of Forrest Road. It is near Fort Middle School and the Woodruff Farm Soccer Complex. The Viking Drive home where Phillip was staying is less than 400 feet away from where he was found dead.

Police were on the scene Wednesday morning talking to neighbors. A woman at the house told the Ledger-Enquirer she found the car and body parked on the street last night after arriving home from work.

Maj. Gene Hillhouse confirmed Wednesday morning police are investigating Phillip’s death as a homicide. Police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting should call 706-653-3400.

This is Columbus’ 17th reported homicide this year, which started with the death of Charles Foster Jr., at Club Majestic on New Year’s Day. It is the third homicide since mid-September.

Police are checking any information that may be related to the shooting. “Right now, we are running down everything,” Touchberry said.

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