Atlanta police hope to ID person of interest in Manuel’s Tavern homicide

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Atlanta police investigators are working to identify a person of interest in a deadly shooting outside a popular Poncey-Highland tavern.

On Oct. 27, Dean Phillips was leaving Manuel’s Tavern when he saw a man attempting to break into vehicles in the parking lot, witnesses told police. The man then shot Phillips in the chest and left the parking lot with a getaway driver, police previously said.

Patrons and employees tried to help Phillips, applying pressure to his wound to try to save him.

The DeKalb County father left behind five children, the youngest of whom is 13. He was 54.

ExploreManuel’s Tavern homicide victim ‘tried to help whoever he could’

On Tuesday, police said they have identified a man they would like to speak to as part of the investigation. The person of interest is seen in a video at a convenience store.

Phillips always wanted to help others, his wife told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the shooting.

“Dean had a heart of gold. One of the most loving men,” Sandra Phillips said. “He really loved his family. He was the best husband a woman could ask for. He was my superman and I was his superwoman.”

Dean Phillips ran the Was and Now Foundation, an organization he founded to provide beds for children in underprivileged communities. He had also served with The Stewart Foundation, an Atlanta-based youth nonprofit leadership program.

Tipsters with information on the shooting can remain anonymous and be eligible for rewards of up to $5,000. Contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, text information to 274637 or see the Crime Stoppers website.