Philip Charles Borer Nelson had aspirations of opening his own music studio, but he died with his dream Thursday when he was gunned down in Columbia Heights. The shooter remains on the loose.
Borer Nelson, 31, went to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment around 3:30 a.m. to “take care of a few things,” his mother, Bridget Borer, said Friday. While he was there, a gunman came into the unit and killed Borer Nelson in what authorities have called “a violent death.”
Investigators have released few details about the murder in the LaBelle Park Condos, saying only that police were called to the apartment on 41st Avenue NE. about a disturbance. Officers arrived at around 4:35 a.m. to find Borer Nelson dead.
On Friday, law enforcement continued to investigate and look for the shooter, whom they have identified as Phillip Leron Miller, 41. Miller is described as black, 5 feet 7 and medium build, with brown eyes and loosely braided black hair and tattoos on his arm and hand.
Bridget Borer said her son had an off-and on-again relationship with the woman who lived in the apartment where the shooting took place, but that he had ended the relationship once and for all. Her son had a new girlfriend and was living in St. Louis Park, she said.
On Thursday, her son received text messages from his ex-girlfriend. Borer was not sure about the nature of the messages, but said “she had been bothering him for a while.” Her son went “to take care of a few things” and didn’t come back, leaving his four children ages 3 to 13 without a father.
Borer Nelson also didn’t make it to the High School for the Recording Arts in St. Paul, where he had worked as a student adviser for the past three years, said the school’s executive director Tony Simmons.
“He was truly a special person,” Simmons said in a statement. “Although gone, he left us a special gift through his life and memory and that is to love our students and each other even more. I hope we will find a way at this very difficult time to focus on Philip’s kind and beautiful spirit.”
Borer Nelson, a 2005 graduate of the school, had recently gotten involved with a nonprofit lobbying at the State Capitol for educational reform, something he was excited about, his mother said. He also was an assistant basketball coach at Minneapolis Roosevelt High School and officiated youth league basketball.
“He loved working with youth,” his mother said. “He could relate to them so well.”
“He saved so many kids,” said his brother Jordan.
With the stage name “Steady Ready,” Borer Nelson dreamed of becoming a hip-hop producer. He had started a company called 11 Entertainment and was working on creating videos, his mother said.
Borer pleaded that anybody with information about the shooting come forward. The killer “needs to be caught and people need to assist the police,” she said.