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Authorities: Former Hall commission candidate Troy Phillips shot, killed wife, himself
Troy Phillips
Troy Phillips

Authorities said Tuesday they believe former Hall County commission candidate Troy Phillips, 45, fatally shot his wife, Heather Phillips, 42, last week before killing himself.

Deputies responded around 9:30 a.m. Thursday to a Third Street residence inside Chicopee Village, where Troy and Heather Phillips were found dead of single gunshot wounds

Troy Phillips worked as a dispatcher for Choice Facility Services and Construction as of his February announcement that he was running for a seat on the commission.

He graduated from Johnson High School in 1988 and is also a graduate of Colorado Technical University with a master’s degree in criminal justice management. Phillips served in the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His wife also graduated from Johnson High School, according to her Facebook page.

“She was an absolute free spirit, always smiling and just one of those people that wanted to give,” Heather Phillips’ brother Shane Martin said Tuesday.

In a tightknit family, Martin and Heather Phillips were close in their earlier years but had “drifted apart” in recent years.

“Over the last couple of years we had kind of drifted apart with her marriage,” Martin said. “We kind of sensed there were some issues with the husband to begin with.”

Troy Phillips lost to incumbent Jeff Stowe in the Republican primary in May for the District 4 seat on the commission.

Following the election, Martin said Troy Phillips had a “meltdown” on social media with the loss.

“My understanding is that they had had issues off and on for some time,” Martin said of the couple after speaking with neighbors and co-workers.

Debra Pilgrim, Hall County GOP chairwoman, previously told The Times the couple was very giving, including Troy Phillips’ collecting coats for those in need.

Pilgrim said people were “terribly saddened” and “shocked” at the news about the pair.

Of the memories Martin said he’d cherish is the moment he saw his sister on the pier as he returned home from the U.S. Navy.

“Seeing her standing there waiting for me to come back to the states — it’s something that I’ll never forget,” Martin said.

Following the news, Martin said social media has brought out “the best and the worst” in people commenting on the deaths.

“My mom has taken some of the posts from social media very hard,” he said.

The community at UPS, where Heather Phillips worked, has reached out to Martin and family members to help.