COLUMBIA, SC Three teenage gang members have been arrested in last week’s shooting death of a mother of four who worked an early morning shift in a bakery.
Troy Stevenson and Lorenzo Young , both 18, have been charged with murder, kidnapping, attempted armed robbery, second-degree burglary, criminal conspiracy and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago said. A 16-year-old juvenile, whose name has not been released, has been charged with murder, kidnapping, attempted armed robbery, second-degree burglary and criminal conspiracy, Santiago said.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson said he is reviewing the case to decide whether he will seek to prosecute the 16-year-old as an adult. The solicitor’s office would have to request a hearing before a family court judge, who would rule on the issue.
The three are accused of trying to rob a bakery at 13 Tommy Circle in the early morning hours of July 1. Kelly L. Hunnewell, 33, of Pineneedle Drive, was the lone employee working, and she fought the would-be robbers, Santiago said. She was shot multiple times and died from her injuries.
There was no money at the bakery because it was an off-site kitchen for a cafe, Santiago said.
“Ms. Hunnewell, I’ll tell you, she put up a fight,” he said. “She stood her ground.”
Hunnewell worked an early morning shift baking bagels and other breads. She was a single mother of four children.
“This senseless act took their mother away from them,” Santiag o s aid. “Now they are orphans. “
The three who have been charged in the shooting death have ties to a gang and are listed in a statewide database of suspected gang members, Santiago said. He declined to name the gang.
Stevenson, Young and the 16-year-old had gone to the neighborhood intending to rob The Original Ale House, a private club next door to the bakery, Santiago said. The club was closed so the three allegedly hit the bakery, he said.
“It was a crime of opportunity to rob the business,” Santiago said.
The shooting was captured by a security camera inside the bakery, and Santiago said the arrests were made because of tips from the public who recognized the men in the video.
In the video, two men are seen running into the bakery with jackets pulled over their faces and guns drawn. Santiago identified those two as Stevenson and Young. The 16-year-old stood watch outside the door, Santiago said.
Hunnewell had worked for more than two years at Carolina Cafe, a bagel shop underneath the Cornell Arms apartment building on Pendleton Street. The bagels and other baked goods were made at the Tommy Circle location and delivered to the cafe.
Hunnewell liked working the early shift to bake on Tommy Circle so she could be home in the afternoons with her four children, said Lauren Schlueter , the cafe’s owner.
“She was such a wonderful person with a great work ethic who wanted to provide for her children,” Schlueter said. “To have her life end like this – so young, and with a great future with us and her children – it’s just devastating.”
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.