Two known gang members are facing charges in the October shooting death of an innocent bystander on a Bratton Street front porch, Columbia police said.
Jashawn Livingston, 20, and Charlie Kennedy III, 21, each have been charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in connection with the killing of Astrid Haynes, 32, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Thursday. Kennedy also has been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to news release.
Members of the Midlands Gang Task Force helped investigate and made the arrests Wednesday at the Colony Forest Apartments, the news release said. The task force includes Richland County Sheriff’s deputies and Columbia police officers, including members of the police forces’s Violent Crimes Against Persons Unit and Fugitive Team.
Haynes, a single mother, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Oct. 8, Holbrook said. Police allege the two suspects drove by a residence in the 2600 block of Bratton Street, off King Street, targeting another known gang member and fired several shots at a group that was gathered, Holbrook said. Haynes, who was visiting the residence and was not affiliated with a gang, was killed.
“Everyone realized pretty quick that it was a gang-related shooting,” Lott said. “In the past criminal investigators would have worked that, but the changes that we have had in working together, the Midlands Gang Task Force undertook that investigation. They joined the criminal investigators, but the gang investigators led a lot of it.”
Holbrook said members of the task force executed a warrant at an apartment in the Colony Forest Apartments, in the 6300 block of Bailey Street off West Beltline Boulevard.
Even though Holbrook attributed the arrest to good police work between the agencies, he said the community played a critical part in solving the case.
“We couldn’t have done this without the assistance from the community,” Holbrook said.
Lott said so far, the gang task force has arrested more than 80 known gang members and validated more than 32 others as known gang members within the community.