Kenneth Lee Redding died after the Riverview 7-11 robbery
By KEVIN BRADY
“I am glad my son didn’t have to die alone.”
Jeannette Cochran took that small comfort after her son was stabbed to death while working the night shift at a Riverview 7-11 last week.
Kenneth Lee Redding, 54, was killed during a robbery at the store July 10. Lawrence Robert Bongiovanni, 20, stabbed Redding multiple times before stealing scratch-off lottery tickets, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Jimmy Walker, a regular customer at the store at Bloomingdale Avenue and Providence Road, found Redding bleeding profusely in an aisle at 1:30 a.m. After rushing outside to tell another customer to call 911, Walker returned to Redding’s side using napkins to try to stem the bleeding and encouraging Redding to hold on until paramedics arrived.
“The young man tried to save him,” Cochran said. “I would like to thank him personally for what he did.”
Redding had been working at the store for 18 months but never worried about his safety, Cochran said.
“He preferred the night shift because he had worked for Tampa Bay Steel for at least 10 years on the night shift and just got used to it.”
The brutal attack at the 7-11 was a shock to many in the area, which borders Winthrop Town Centre and several quiet residential neighborhoods.
“It’s a very nice area,” Cochran said. “I was never concerned because he told me local police stopped in there for coffee at night, but it happens anywhere now.”
Cochran also thanked friends and neighbors for their concern and expressions of sympathy.
“Everyone has shown concern. He was very well liked.”
Redding, who lived next door to his mother on Spivey Road in Gibsonton, enjoyed talking to people and photography, Cochran said.
“He was a wonderful person. No one had a bad thing to say about him.”
“He was a really nice person,” said Gertrude Nagle, who lives opposite the Cochran family. “I would see him work in the yard and leaving for work every night.”
The alleged killer was arrested 18 hours after the attack walking along a roadway in Charlotte County. Bongiovanni, 20, from Brandon, was booked on first degree murder charges.
Detectives in the area were on the lookout for Bongiovanni and two other men, Russell Travis Beasley, 24, and Brandan Garrett Green, 22, after lottery tickets stolen during the robbery were cashed in the area. Green and Beasley were picked up in Sarasota County at around the same time.
They have since been released.
Based on video surveillance, detectives were able to identify two of the suspects by name within hours of Redding’s death.
“I’ve seen a lot of stuff but this rates among the most brutal I have seen,” said Sheriff David Gee, who called the robbery a premeditated attack. “He stalked the clerk, hid and waited for him to be alone.’’
“This does not appear to be a robbery gone bad; Bongiovanni went in with the intent to attack the clerk,” Gee said.
Arrest records show Bongiovanni, who has used several aliases, was first arrested in 2009 at age 17 on a charge of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. He was arrested again one year later on a felony battery charge and returned to jail in 2011 on an aggravated battery charge.