Community mourns teen clerk killed in tobacco shop robbery

The community of North Charleston gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Caden Martin, a 19-year-old clerk who was shot and killed in a tobacco shop robbery last week. A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with his murder.

Caden Martin was working at the Tobacco & Pipe shop on Seventh Avenue on Tuesday, January 30, when a 14-year-old boy entered the store with a gun and demanded money and merchandise. According to the police, Caden complied with the robber’s demands, but the boy shot him several times as he was leaving the store. Caden died at the scene.

Caden’s family and friends described him as a kind, respectful, and loving young man who had a bright future ahead of him. He graduated from Dunbar High School in 2022 and was planning to attend college. He was also active in his church, Mountain Heights Church in South Charleston, where he played the drums and sang in the choir.

“He was a wonderful kid. He was always smiling, always happy. He loved God, he loved his family, he loved his friends. He was just a joy to be around,” his grandmother Sandi Cedeño said.

More than 100 people attended the candlelight vigil

On Tuesday, February 6, more than 100 people gathered outside the Tobacco & Pipe shop for a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to Caden and to demand justice for his killer. They lit candles, released balloons, and held signs that read “Justice for Caden” and “Stop the Violence”. They also shared their memories and prayers for Caden and his family.

Cedeño thanked the community for their support and said that Caden would have been touched by the gesture. “He would have been so happy to see all these people here. He loved people. He loved helping people. He was a good boy,” she said.

Caden’s pastor, Brian Hughes, led the prayer and asked God to comfort Caden’s family and to bring peace to the community. He also said that Caden was a blessing to many and that his legacy would live on. “He touched so many lives. He made a difference in this world. He was a light in the darkness. He was a gift from God,” he said.

The 14-year-old suspect is facing murder charges

The 14-year-old boy who allegedly shot and killed Caden was arrested by the Charleston police about five hours after the incident. He was found hiding in a nearby apartment complex with the gun and some of the stolen items. He has been charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a minor.

The police said that the boy acted alone and that they are still investigating his motive and background. They also said that they are looking into a possible connection between the tobacco shop shooting and another shooting that occurred on Woodward Drive on January 21, where a woman was shot in the face.

The boy’s name has not been released because he is a juvenile, but the police said that he will be tried as an adult. He is currently being held at the Donald R. Kuhn Juvenile Center.

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