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44-year-old Troy Cornelius Wells wanted for the murder of 33-year-old Jennifer Marie Cruz in Sumter County

The identity of the surviving victim has not been disclosed publicly.



Authorities in Sumter County report that a newborn infant is fighting for survival after being delivered following the fatal shooting of its mother on Saturday morning.

According to investigators from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred in the 1700 block of North Main Street around 6 a.m.

Allegedly, the suspected shooter, 44-year-old Troy Cornelius Wells, ambushed the woman and another victim at a motel where they were residing.

It’s believed that Wells opened fire on their vehicle, hitting both individuals with multiple rounds.

Jennifer Marie Cruz, 33, from Sumter, succumbed to her injuries, as revealed in subsequent updates from the sheriff’s office, which also confirmed that Cruz was 35 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

Although the baby was successfully delivered, its condition remains critical as per the latest update provided by the sheriff’s office.

The other victim sustained injuries deemed non-life-threatening by the police.

An autopsy for Cruz is scheduled for Monday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

The identity of the surviving victim has not been disclosed publicly.

Sheriff Anthony Dennis characterized the murder as “cruel and premeditated,” indicating that investigators suspect Wells was aware of the woman’s pregnancy.

The manhunt for Wells is ongoing, with investigators describing him as approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing around 179 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Authorities caution that Wells should be considered armed and dangerous.

The sheriff’s office advises anyone who spots Wells to immediately contact 911 or reach out to Investigator E. Boland at 803-436-2009.

Further updates will be provided as they become accessible.