65 / 47
      69 / 51
      70 / 48

      Columbia leaders fighting violent crime

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- A panel of law enforcement, attorneys, civic leaders and victims advocates putting years of experience together to push for change in South Carolina.

      Right now leaders say crime is down in Richland County, but the community is on edge after a month of violent incidents that has left a young girl shot while watching TV, a father killed while walking his child home from the park, and a Columbia mother killed while on the job at a local bakery.

      "If our citizens are scared then we need to do a better job and I think our citizens are scared right now, said Sheriff Leon Lott.

      "She was always laughing and happy," said Lauren Schluter

      The mother of 4 was killed July 1st in a late night robbery attempt at a bakery off Beltline Boulevard.

      Police say three men were trying to rob the bakery and Hunnewell was shot and killed after a struggle.

      One week later Columbia Police arresting the men seen in surveillance video.

      They say Troy Stevenson, Lorenzo Young and a 16-year-old boy killed Hunnelwell.

      Young was free on bond on armed robbery, burglary and kidnapping charges at the time.

      "To have her life end like this and so young and such a great future with us and her children it's just, it's devastating," said Schluter.

      The panel will meet for the next four weeks and plan to have recommendations for lawmakers, council members and law enforcement.

      The members would like to see stricter laws on bond to help keep repeat offenders off the streets.