Phipps supposedly owed James J. Marks money. So the 23-year-old Marks allegedly fatally shot the 30-year-old Phipps in the head and wounded another man at Independence and Ewing in the early hours of March 25.
The second shooting victim told police that he and Phipps were riding in a Isuzu Rodeo when a red car started following them on Independence Avenue.
Police later discovered a red Chevy Impala on fire around 6:13 a.m. The damage on the Impala led them to believe this was the red car involved in the shooting.
A witness told police that the car was hers, and she was riding in the
card with two men, who she identified as Marks and Julio Calderon.
She claimed Marks was riding shotgun, thought he recognized someone who
owed his money in a black SUV and started yelling at them. Then he
allegedly took a pistol from Calderon and started shooting at the SUV,
which crashed into a bridge and then collided with the Impala. A laser
sight on the handgun then went missing. Marks supposedly told her that
he had to burn her car.
A second witness told police that Marks
showed up at her house, told her to turn on the news and freaked out
because he claimed he was involved in a shooting on Independence Avenue.
Marks was arrested and refused to talk to police without a
lawyer. He is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault
and two counts of armed criminal action.