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4 charged in connection with killing near Utah grocery store

Police investigate a fatal shooting near the parking lot of a South Salt Lake WinCo store, 2193 S. Main, on May 10. Police later identified the deceased as Romeo Charles Stevens, 27, and four people were charged with murder Friday in connection with his homicide.

Police investigate a fatal shooting near the parking lot of a South Salt Lake WinCo store, 2193 S. Main, on May 10. Police later identified the deceased as Romeo Charles Stevens, 27, and four people were charged with murder Friday in connection with his homicide. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Criminal charges have been filed against four people in connection with the fatal shooting of a man during an alleged robbery attempt in a South Salt Lake grocery store parking lot.

McKennalyn Elizabeth Cummins, 24, of Portage, Terell Jones, 30, of Roy, Stafon Dshawn Coleman, 21, of Roy, and Damian Stafon Coleman Jr., 27, of Roy, were each charged Friday in 3rd District Court with murder and aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies; and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

On May 9, Romeo Charles Stevens, 27, was shot multiple times and killed near the parking lot at WinCo, 2193 S. Main. His body was found on Main Street near the entrance to the store. The first arriving officers noticed at least two bullet wounds in Stevens' body, according to charging documents. An autopsy later determined he was shot three times.

Investigators collected surveillance video from the store and observed Stevens and Cummins enter the WinCo together. At one point, Stevens exited the store, went back to his car, and then went back inside. After he did that, two cars pulled into the lot and parked a few stalls away from Stevens' car the charges state.

Jones and both Colemans got out of their vehicles and crouched down behind another car. When Stevens exited the store again and walked back to his car, the three men stood up.

"Stevens looked at the defendants and took off running through the parking lot," charging documents state.

Jones and Stafon Coleman ran after Stevens as Damian Coleman got back into one of the cars and drove after them, the charges state. Police say there was a fight in the street followed by "several muzzle flashes" which investigators observed on surveillance video.

Stafon, Coleman and Jones were then picked up by Damian Coleman and the three drove off.

After responding to the scene, police noticed that Cummins was still in the driver's seat of the second vehicle that had entered the parking lot. Cummins claimed she met Stevens on Snapchat and agreed to go on a date with him, the charges state. She claimed they were going to get food, but all the restaurants were closed so they decided to get food at WinCo to take back to Stevens' apartment.

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When investigators questioned how her car ended up in the WinCo parking lot, Cummins claimed she had left the keys in the car and parked it at Stevens' apartment, and then "asked a homeless male, whom she met on Snapchat" to drive her car to her, according to the charges. After dropping off her car at the parking lot, Cummins claimed the man blocked her on Snapchat, the charges state.

Using information collected from the store, including surveillance video of the car the men drove away in and its license plate, Damian Coleman was arrested in Weber County on May 11.

When questioned by police, Coleman stated that he and his stepbrother, Jones, and his brother, Stafon Coleman, had made a plan to rob Stevens and that Cummins help set up the robbery, according to the charges. When Stevens came out of the store, Damian Coleman said he didn't run after him "because it wasn't supposed to 'go down' like that," the charges state.

On Monday, police announced they were looking for the three outstanding suspects in the case and that they should be considered "armed and dangerous." Charging documents state that police believe the three have either fled the state "or at least gone into hiding to avoid arrest."

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News

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