UPDATE 2/8/2019: Phillip Lee Lewis III was captured by federal authorities in Flint, Michigan.
In addition to the murder and robbery charges he’s wanted for in Knox County, he’s also wanted in Mississippi on a probation violation.
UPDATE: Kentucky State Police have identified the suspect who shot and killed a bystander while attempting to rob a convenience store in Gray Wednesday morning.
Trooper Shane Jacobs, public affairs officer at Post 10 in Harlan, said police have secured an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Phillip Lee Lewis III, charging him with murder, and first-degree robbery.
“We are really confident with the evidence that we have, that Lewis is the person we are looking for,” Jacobs said explaining that, at this juncture, investigators are not releasing details of the case, including what led them to Lewis.
Lewis has connections to Mississippi and Michigan, including an arrest warrant out of Mississippi for probation violation.
“We don’t know why he would be in Knox County,” Jacobs said of Lewis.
“We would love to talk to anyone with any information about his whereabouts or why he is here,” Jacobs added.
An autopsy conducted on the victim, 25-year-old Gary Medlin of Barbourville, indicated that he was shot once in the back, Jacobs said.
Police have determined that Lewis fled the scene by jumping into the passenger seat of a vehicle that slowed up to pick him up. The vehicle then pulled out onto U.S. 25E traveling toward Corbin.
“You can’t even tell from the video whether it was a car, truck or SUV,” Jacobs said.
Anyone with information concerning Lewis’ whereabouts, or the vehicle seen fleeing the location just after midnight Wednesday, is asked to contact KSP Post 10 in Harlan at (606) 573-3131.
Callers may remain anonymous.
Should Lewis be convicted of both crimes, the case meets the legal requirements for the death penalty under Kentucky law.
In murder cases committed in concert with another violent crime, including robbery, kidnapping or rape, prosecutors may elect to seek the death penalty.
UPDATE: Kentucky State Police are continuing to ask for the public’s help to identify the man who fatally shot a bystander during a robbery at a Gray area convenience store early Wednesday morning.
Police have released a video still of the man they say attempted to rob the A&B Quick Stop off of U.S. 25E just after midnight.
The suspect is described as a black male, who was wearing a gray hoodie, black pants and tan boots.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact KSP Post 10 in Harlan, (606) 573-3131. Callers may remain anonymous.
An early morning shooting Wednesday at Gray market has left a Barbourville man dead.
About 12:05 a.m., Kentucky State Police from Post 10 in Harlan received a call about a shooting at the A&B Quick Stop, which is located off US25E in Gray.
The preliminary investigation indicates that at 12:04 a.m., an unknown black male, who was wearing a gray hoodie, black pants and tan boots, entered the store and pointed a handgun at the clerk, according to a KSP release.
A bystander, Gary Medlin, 25, attempted to flee the store when the suspect fired multiple shots at Medlin striking him, the release stated.
A deputy coroner from the Knox County Coroner’s Office pronounced Medlin dead at the scene.
After the shooting took place, the unknown suspect left the store on foot, and has not been located at this time, according to the release.
KSP is currently attempting to locate the suspect.
No other individuals were injured during the shooting.
The body is being sent to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for autopsy.
KSP Detective Jake Wilson is continuing the investigation.
The Knox County Coroner’s Office and the Barbourville Police Department also assisted at the scene.