Police officers arrest two teenagers in killing of husband of College of Charleston official

Police officers arrest two teenagers in killing of husband of College of Charleston official
A report released by Charleston investigators states that the suspects are 15 and 16 years old. Both are charged with murder and attempted armed robbery. (Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department has announced the arrest of two teenagers for the killing of the husband of a College of Charleston official.

On Friday night, authorities announced the arrest of two juvenile males for the homicide that occurred Friday morning in downtown Charleston which took the life of 63-year-old Tom DiLorenzo. DiLorenzo is the husband of Suzanne Austin, who is the provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at the College of Charleston.

A report released by Charleston investigators states that the suspects are 15 and 16 years old. Both are charged with murder and attempted armed robbery.

One of the suspects is also charged with possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

According to police, the suspects are being held in the juvenile detention center and will have a hearing before a family court judge.

“Due to their status as juveniles, their names cannot be released,” officials with the Charleston Police Department said.

Investigators said at 6:15 a.m. DiLorenzo and Austin were walking near the intersection of King and Clifford Streets when they were approached by the juveniles. A report states one of the juveniles was armed with a handgun and demanded money from the couple.

DiLorenzo was shot during the robbery attempt and later died at MUSC. Austin was uninjured.

“Our prayers are with the victim’s family during this terrible time,” said Police Chief Luther Reynolds. “We also want to thank the community for the support they’ve given our investigators in this case.”

“What a tragic, senseless crime this was,” Charleston Mayor John Teckleburg said on Friday. “Just tragic. I met Tom’s wife this morning at the hospital and it just couldn’t be sadder.”

Thomas DiLorenzo, 63, was fatally shot Friday morning in a robbery early Friday morning as he and his wife, CofC Provost Suzanne Austin were walking along King Street.
Thomas DiLorenzo, 63, was fatally shot Friday morning in a robbery early Friday morning as he and his wife, CofC Provost Suzanne Austin were walking along King Street. (Source: University of North Dakota)

CofC President Andrew Hsu said the couple had only moved to Charleston a few weeks ago and that DiLorenzo had recently retired from the University of North Dakota in June after serving there as provost and vice president of academic affairs for seven years.

“Tom was celebrated not only for his collaborative leadership style, but also his belief in experiential learning and how the city of Grand Forks served as an extension of the UND classroom,” CofC President Andrew Hsu said. “Given time, Tom would have seen parallels of that dynamic here in Charleston as well.”

Hsu called the act of violence against one of CofC’s community members “deeply unsettling,” and encouraged students, faculty and staff members who may feel unease or anxiety as a result of this incident to seek support through our student Counseling Center or the college’s Employee Assistance Program.

The University of North Dakota posted on their Twitter account that they are “absolutely devastated by this unthinkable tragedy.”

The Charleston Police Department is continuing the investigation.

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