Victim survived 2015 shooting

Published 9:58 pm Monday, March 14, 2016

Aaron L. “Poundcake” Hunter, 23, survived the first time he was shot.

But unfortunately, the same didn’t happen on Friday, when he was shot and killed at Wilson Pines Apartments, in the 2500 block of East Washington Street, around 9:20 p.m., according to a city press release.



Another 23-year-old victim was treated and released at the scene by Suffolk Fire and Rescue medics, according to the press release.

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Hunter, who was better known to his friends as Pound, was hanging out inside a friend’s apartment, eating dinner and making plans to go out later that night, said his sister, Shantia Scott. It’s her understanding that the suspects burst into the friends’ apartment and fired the gun, Scott said.

Hunter had been living with her in Wexford Downs, Scott said.

In July 2015, Hunter was found in a vehicle in the 400 block of Bank Street suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body, according to press reports and Scott. No arrest was ever made in that shooting, Scott said.

“He had recovered physically, but he wasn’t breathing normally,” Scott said. “He would get out of breath even walking a short distance. He couldn’t move and breathe at the same time.”

Hunter was in the process of appealing the denial of his disability claim when he was killed, Scott said.

Through all that has happened, Hunter remained an “outgoing, down-to-earth lover of life,” Scott said. “He was cool-headed, thoughtful and took things one day at a time.”

Her brother, a former drummer in Lakeland High School’s Marching Band, loved all kinds of music, from gospel to rap, Scott said. On a warm day, he loved to ride around in his car with the windows open and music blasting.

“He found that relaxing,” Scott recalled. Although he was supposed to graduate from Lakeland in 2011, he didn’t finish until 2013, she said.

Cheyenne Sandefur-Smith, who has known Hunter since elementary school and worked with him at McDonald’s on Holland Road for two years, was devastated to hear about his death.

“He was one of the happiest people you ever met … and he didn’t know a stranger,” Sandefur-Smith said. “There was nothing uncomfortable about Pound. If he wasn’t joking on you, he was joking and laughing with you.”

Ever since she’s known him, Pound has been Hunter’s nickname, Sandefur-Smith said. Although she’s not sure where the nickname originated, rumor is that he earned it in elementary school when he was supposed to bring snacks and brought an entire pound cake instead, she said.

One of her fondest memories of Hunter will be his smile, Sandefur-Smith said.

“He had pretty, straight white teeth with a tiny gap between his two front teeth,” she said. “I loved that smile. He loved kids. One of my biggest regrets is that he never had the chance to meet my 1-year-old son, Rowyn.”

Over the weekend, police charged two people, including one juvenile, with murdering Hunter.

Mandocous J. Rivers, 19, of Suffolk is being held without bond in Western Tidewater Regional Jail. He is charged with first-degree murder; shoot, stab, cut or wound; use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; robbery; and conspiracy to commit a felony, according to the city’s press release.

Rivers’ next court date is 10 a.m. May 3.

A 17-year-old male from Suffolk is also being held in Western Tidewater Regional Jail, according to the press release. He is facing the same charges as Rivers in connection with Hunter’s death. His name has not been released because he is a juvenile.

Scott has a message for the teenagers accused of killing her brother.

“You took a piece of our heart from us with no remorse, no hesitation,” Scott said. “We forgive you. We love you. We ask that God have mercy on your souls.”