Clark County

2 men die in shooting at Winchester duplex

A group of people, including one person who identified herself as family, arrived at a duplex in Winchester where Phillip Howard, who lived there, and another man were fatally shot earlier Monday.
A group of people, including one person who identified herself as family, arrived at a duplex in Winchester where Phillip Howard, who lived there, and another man were fatally shot earlier Monday.

WINCHESTER — Winchester police were investigating a break-in and shootings Monday at a duplex in which two people died and a third might been injured.

Phillip Howard, 29, who lived at the duplex on Redwing Drive, was pronounced dead at Clark Regional Medical Center, police Capt. James Hall said.

Demontez Cowherd, 25, of Lexington, was pronounced dead at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Each man had been shot in the torso, Hall said.

The Fayette County coroner's office said Cowherd died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The shootings happened about 1:10 a.m. at the duplex, which is behind the Kroger on Bypass Road. Police said Cowherd and at least one other man broke into Howard's home. Hall said police had not determined what might have led to the break-in.

A third man, who witnesses said was armed, drove away from the scene "at high speed" in a Dodge Magnum. Winchester police had not located him as of Monday afternoon.

He might be the same man who showed up at a Lexington hospital with a gunshot wound about 1:30 a.m. Monday, shortly after the shootings. Lexington police Lt. Chris Van Brackel said a man was dropped off at St. Joseph East in Lexington, then was transferred to UK Chandler Hospital because of the seriousness of his injury.

St. Joseph East called police because of the suspicious wound.

"He has been evasive about what happened to him," Van Brackel said, adding that whether that man was injured in the Winchester shootings is "still in the investigative stages."

Richard Ostreich, a neighbor of Howard, said he had his window open and was getting ready for bed when he heard three distinct shots in rapid succession. He said the shots seemed too loud to be from a pistol.

Neighbors said they were surprised that a violent crime happened on the normally quiet street.

One of the men involved might have had previous contact with law enforcement agencies. Court records show a Demontez Cowherd was convicted in Fayette County of robbery stemming from a charge filed in 2002 and of fourth-degree assault in 2007.

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