For the past week, the Town of Zionsville has come together in various ways to honor Harrison and Shelby Hunn, two teens who were murdered in their father’s home on Sept. 21. The community has been reeling from the loss and searching for ways to support Stephanie Reece, the teens’ mother.
While performing a requested welfare check, deputies from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office found 15-year-old Harrison and 13-year-old Shelby dead inside the home of their father, Michael Hunn. Both died from apparent gunshot wounds in their respective bedrooms. Michael, a 50-year-old male, also died from a gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted.
“We all have faced yet another tragic event here in Boone County. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the family, the community, Zionsville Schools and the public safety personnel that responded,” the BCSO stated in a media release.
A town in shock
Harrison and Shelby were both tennis players, and Reece is a coach at Pearson Automotive Tennis Center in Zionsville. Harrison played for Zionsville Community High School’s boys tennis team. At the tennis courts where his team practices, Harrison’s peers put flowers around his team sign.
ZCHS Junior Lauren Campbell had Reece as a private tennis coach for the past two years. Reece is currently her coach on the ZCHS girls tennis team.
“When it came on over the announcements at school, it hit so hard,” Campbell said. “I was in shock. The first thing in my mind was, ‘Oh my god, Stephanie.’ She has become really close to our family.”
ZCHS had grief counselors on staff to speak with students about the loss of their peer.
“They wrote down names of the students (who visited them) so they could check up on us,” Campbell said.
Honoring Harrison and Shelby
On Sept. 22, a prayer vigil was held for Harrison and Shelby at Lions Park in Zionsville, where hundreds of people released blue balloons into the sky. Blue was said to be Harrison and Shelby’s favorite color.
At Pearson Automotive Tennis Center in Zionsville, the peers of recently deceased Harrison Hunn put flowers around his tennis sign. Reece is an instructor at the tennis center. A memorial was also created for Shelby at the Zionsville Middle School tennis courts, where she played tennis.
A visitation was held Sept. 27 at Traders Point Christian Church in Whitestown and a celebration of life followed. During the visitation hours, a long line of cars filtered into the church and backed up down Indianapolis Rd.
The support for the family did not end there. Those attending the Zionsville-Brownsburg high school football game on Sept. 28 were encouraged to wear blue in honor of the slain teens. Many students, staff, parents and fans showed up in blue, and almost the entire Brownsburg section wore blue as well. The varsity cheerleaders had blue pom-poms.
Campbell said the tennis team was in shock and searching for a way to help. She and fellow tennis player Frannie Pittman designed t-shirts honoring Harrison and Shelby to sell at the high school. Proceeds from each $20 shirt will go directly to Reece.
“On Friday, when everyone found out, the tennis team group chat blew up,” Campbell said. “Everyone was so upset about it. Frannie Pittman had the idea to sell the shirts, and I wanted to help her.”
Over the weekend, Campbell and Pittman designed a t-shirt and ordered 400 shirts in different sizes, using the fastest shipping option through customink.com.
“Friday in school we started selling at lunch. We basically sold out except for 30-40 shirts which were then sold at the football game,” Campbell said.
Once the shirts were sold out, Cambell and Pittman had sign-up sheets to keep track of additional orders. Close to 200 shirts were ordered.
Reece’s strong presence
Campbell said Reece is well-respected and loved by the team.
“She has become a friend to every girl on the team,” Campbell said. “She is super competitive, but she makes everything fun.”
Campbell’s twin brother, Robert Campbell, played tennis doubles with Harrison.
“Even if you don’t know Harrison or Shelby, it’s hard,” she said. “All the guys on the (tennis) team are in it together so that helps. They created special tennis shirts for them, wrote letters, sent flowers, and are wearing blue bracelets.”
Campbell said Reece may be taking a break but she wants to get back out there.
“She told me that’s the only thing that will feel normal for her,” Campbell said. “She’s surrounded by friends and family right now and I really think she’s doing the best she can. She’s the strongest lady I know. ”