NJ Murder Charge: Fight Over Facebook Post Leads to Shooting of 9-year-old
TRENTON — The Mercer County Prosecutors Office has announced the arrest of a suspect in the death of a 4th-grade girl who was playing outside her apartment last week when an argument turned violent and shots rang out.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said 19-year-old Isiah Roberts, of Trenton, has been charged with the murder of Sequoya Bacon-Jones.
Fight over a Facebook post
He said as the child was playing with her brother and other friends in a courtyard area of the Kingsbury’s Twin Towers housing complex Friday evening, two women began arguing over a Facebook post.
Onofri said as that dispute escalated, Roberts, who was the brother of one of the women, got into an altercation nearby with another man who was at the scene.
“That altercation then made its way into the courtyard where numerous shots were fired,” he said.
He said Sequoya tried to run but was hit by one shot and collapsed.
“Roberts then fled in an Acura, which was described by numerous residents who called 911,” he said.
Police responded to shots being fired, then helped get the wounded child into an ambulance and she was rushed to Capital Health where she underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to her upper body.
Onofri said Sequoya has been stabilized during the surgery, but died later that evening right before midnight.
As the Prosecutor spoke, Sequoya’s mother Sacha Bacon-Jones stood weeping, holding a picture of her deceased daughter.
Onofri said yesterday in the late morning, the vehicle the suspect had fled in was spotted in Hamilton Township.
He said as police pulled the car over, Roberts jumped out of the passenger seat and took off.
A lengthy pursuit followed as the suspect ran into a wooded area along Route 129.
“A dragnet was then cast over the area by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, at 12:45 yesterday afternoon Roberts was arrested as he entered the Delaware River,” he said.
Onofri speculated the suspect had planned to swim to Pennsylvania to escape.
Trenton police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, Hamilton police, and NJ Transit Police were also involved in the search.
“This awful tragedy needs to be a wake-up call, the violence cannot continue,” said Acting State Attorney General Matt Platkin. “We cannot continue to have press conferences like this one, the community and the state of New Jersey cannot continue to endure these horrors.”
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Pat Callahan said he had prayed for Sequoya’s recovery himself, and with others after learning what happened.
“I’m tired of praying for children that are shot while playing quite frankly, I’m tired of looking at teddy bears and candles on sidewalks in cities around the state of New Jersey, it’s about time we take more action to make sure it never happens again,” he said.
In addition to the murder charge, Roberts is also facing charges of aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.