A surveillance image released by Columbia Police shows one of the suspects.
The location of the discovery of Kelly L. Hunnewell's body. (Source: Google Maps)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
Columbia Police are asking for the public's help in finding the three men they say took part in the shooting death of a woman inside a Columbia area bakery early Monday morning.
Investigators say 33-year-old Kelly L. Hunnewell's body was discovered at 93 Tommy Circle Monday morning by a neighbor.
According to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, Hunnewell died from complications of a gunshot wound to the upper body.
Police say three men entered the bakery around 3:30 a.m.
Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago says Hunnewell saw a man with a weapon and swatted at him. Santiago says that's when the shots were fired.
Witnesses said they heard a female screaming followed by gunshots. All three male suspects were seen on video moments later leaving the scene in a hurry.
Police said Hunnewell was working third shift at the bakery.
A spokesperson for the police department says the building where the incident happened serves as a kitchen for Carolina Cafe on Sumter Street in downtown Columbia.
We asked police if they had prior incidents at the bakery on Tommy Street. Officials tell us the same officer that responded Monday morning was called the bakery in May. Kelly was confronted by someone from the bar next door. She left the door open then and again Monday morning. This was just a kitchen, no cash drawer or money inside.
Investigators said the motive behind the killing is not known, but they believe the men were trying to rob the bakery.
"Obviously there's going to be a very aggressive investigation on this," said Columbia Police Interim Chief Ruben Santiago.
Family members say Hunnewell had four children. They say she was working early morning hours at the bakery so she could spend time with her kids.
"This is a member of our community we should be looking out for and now a family without a mother," said Santiago.
If you recognize any of the men in the surveillance images or know anything about this crime, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.