Police from the Bolivar, Missouri Police Department responded to a call reporting shots fired at a private residence in Bolivar on March 23. The police arrived at approximately 5:30 AM and found Joshua Shawn Philips, a 35-year-old man, dead at the scene from a gunshot wound, according to a report by KY3. The suspect had already fled.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the FBI were called in to track the suspect down. The Bolivar police needed help due to the unusual nature of the case. “A lot of sheriff’s departments and local police agencies, the small municipalities just don’t have the budget to obtain the specialized investigative equipment, or the tactical equipment necessary to take on an armed suspect,” Bolivar Police Chief Mark Webb told KY3.
Four hours later, police arrested a suspect: a Hispanic man named Michael Ybarra, according to another report by KY3. Ybarra has the number 13 tattooed on his face, which police believe could be a gang symbol.
Ybarra has been booked into the Polk County Jail. The Polk County public prosecutor has charged him with murder in the first degree.
Investigators at the scene of the murder discovered that a can of paint had been knocked over. They later found boots stained with paint in Ybarra’s home.
The Bolivar police reported that Ybarra has been involved in other incidents in the area. At the time of Philips’ murder, Ybarra was out on bond from charges pertaining to another shooting in Texas. He also has a criminal history in California.