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Police issue warrant in gas station slaying

Police obtained an arrest warrant Friday for William S. Thornton, who was charged with murder in a gas station shooting that killed a Lexington teen.

Michael S. Hanley was shot after an altercation early Sunday at the Shell station at New Circle Road and North Broadway. He died at University of Kentucky Hospital.

"We've developed probable cause that he (Thornton) was involved in the murder, and we're looking for him," said Lt. Douglas Pape of the Lexington police department.

Police did not say what led them to Thornton, 23, of Lexington, but after the shooting, investigators released surveillance photographs of a man sought for questioning. A photo of a car also was released.

Michael Hanley's mother, Tammy, said police called Friday to tell her Thornton had fled Lexington for North Carolina and marshals were trying to find him.

Police Lt. David Marcum would not comment Friday night on the call or Thornton's possible whereabouts.

Hanley, 19, was hanging out with friends early Sunday morning when they stopped at the gas station. He and his cousin went inside for a soda.

Hanley was arguing with a stranger when the two left the store, and the two exchanged punches before Hanley was shot, according to Devin Clayton, 17, another cousin, who waited in the car.

Tammy Hanley said one of her son's friends told her by phone about the shooting. She drove to the scene and helped perform CPR on her son before he was taken to the hospital.

At home Friday night after her son's funeral at Revival Tabernacle, Hanley said she donated her son's tissues and organs to a donor bank. "They told me he helped 51 people. So a positive came out of all this," she said.

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