Robbery attempt leads to murder
A Superior man is dead and five suspects are in custody following an alleged robbery gone wrong.
Garth Velin, 20, was fatally shot in his Allouez residence, 3706 E. First St., just before 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Chance William Andrews, 17, of Superior faces one count of felony murder in Douglas County Circuit Court for the incident. Another man, 20-year-old Kyham Lavon Dunn of Duluth, faces one count of felony murder-party to a crime.
Superior Police named three additional suspects —17-year-old Teah J. Phillips of Superior and Kane M. Robinson, 20 and Dallas E. Robinson, 18, of Duluth. Criminal complaints against the three are expected to be filed today, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the criminal complaints: Phillips told police she drove to Duluth to pick up the four males Tuesday night. They drove back to Superior and parked behind the Subway shop on 38th Avenue East. Andrews told Phillips they were “going to get some money.” She knocked on the door of 3706 E. First St. to verify that Velin was home, telling him she was looking for a lost dog. She returned to the car, verifying that it was Velin from a Facebook photo they pulled up. She stayed in the car with Kane Robinson while the other three walked to Velin’s home. After a short time they came back to the car and jumped in, saying that “it went bad.” Andrews was holding a pistol, according to Phillips. Andrews told her he pulled a gun on Velin, but Velin grabbed the gun and it accidentally went off. Phillips then drove the four males back to Duluth. Andrews told everyone in the car “what happened does not leave this car” or he would kill them.
In a press conference Wednesday, Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse said that at least one gunshot was fired. He also stressed that the shooting was not random.
“Crimes of this magnitude are alarming and may cause community members to be concerned for their safety, and that’s natural and proper,” he said. “However, we have nothing to indicate that this was a random act of violence that places all of the community at continued danger.”
Phillips allegedly told a friend that they went there because “Garth has weed and they were looking for money,” according to the complaint. Velin’s girlfriend, who was upstairs at the residence at the time of the shooting, told police he sold marijuana and she knew of at least one person who owed him approximately $300.
The fatal shooting left those who knew Velin, a 2012 Superior High School graduate, in shock. They said the 20-year-old was a friend to all.
“His smile and easy-going manner endeared him to our staff at SHS as well as fellow students who took the time to know him,” said Paul Zollver, marketing instructor.
Classmate Katie Hoyt met Velin at Superior Middle School. They got to know each other during an icebreaker exercise and became friends. Hoyt remembers Velin sticking up for her when other boys at the school bullied her. The two went on to have most of their classes at Superior High School together.
“We chatted after school, before school, on weekends,” Hoyt said. “He was a friend you could tell anything to.”
Velin was involved in Future Business Leaders of America and DECA at the high school, took part in the Scott D. Anderson Leadership Forum and served as a mentor to youth.
“He was an outstanding young man,” said FBLA advisor and business and marketing instructor Tracy Danovsky. “He was always positive and would greet you every day with a smile.”
Not only was he hard working and dependable, she said, he treated everyone with kindness.
“He truly cared about people and what was going on in their lives,” Danovsky said.
Velin helped keep Hoyt on task as she did her senior project, and they remained in touch with calls and texts after graduating in 2012.
“I want people to know he was the most amazing guy you could ask for as a friend,” Hoyt said. “He will be missed by many people, more than he will know.”