Subscribe for 99¢
Scene of the shooting

The scene of the holiday getaway.  

PIKE COUNTY •  A holiday getaway turned tragic after a family argument fueled by alcohol ended with a St. John man killing his son, police said.

Jeff Chisholm, 22, of St. John had gone with about eight family members for the holiday to a cabin  of a family friend. The property is situated on Pike 52, a county road off Highway 61 between New London and Bowling Green.

According to court documents, shortly before 9 p.m. on Saturday night Chisholm got into an argument with his girlfriend and head-butted her. Chisholm's mother intervened and told her son to go somewhere to calm down.

But when Chisholm grabbed the car keys, his mother tried to keep him from driving away because he had been drinking, court documents say. 

Chisholm pushed his mother to the ground, and then got into an altercation with his father, Michael Lee Phillips, 45, also of St. John.

Chisholm was able to get to his car, and as he pulled away, he struck a Ford Explorer, close to where Phillips was standing.

Chisholm returned a short time later to retrieve his shoes, according to court documents, and he and Phillips began to argue again.

Phillips picked up a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson and fired a warning shot, police say, but Chisholm kept walking toward Phillips, and a struggle ensued. Chisholm was shot, struck near the base of his neck.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Coroner Jim Turner.

According to police, Phillips told them, "What can I say? He came at me so I had to shoot him."

Phillips of the 8600 block of Hume Avenue is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Phillips remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of $200,000 cash-only bail.