Trenton Woman Chased, Gunned Down in Broad Daylight
TRENTON — The city's new mayor is hoping the recent shooting death of a 19-year-old woman will galvanize the community to cut down violence.
City resident Shaela Johnson was killed on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office. Johnson was shot multiple times in her head and body, and was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in a pickup truck. She was pronounced dead a short time later.
Following the shooting, police found "numerous" shell casings at the intersection of Stuyvesant and Hoffman avenues, as well as in front of the D&A Deli.
Surveillance video from the store shows two men shooting at Johnson, according to police. NBC10 in Philadelphia shared an edited video from the store showing Johnson attempting to flee from the scene. The network reported that Johnson was shot 20 times.
Mayor Reed Gusciora released a statement on Wednesday afternoon encouraging anyone with information about the shooting to contact law enforcement.
"We cannot end violence in our city through statements or inaction; and it cannot be done overnight," he said. "These destructive acts rise from the proliferation of guns in urban centers across this country and a lack of will to address the issue on the federal level."
Gusciora said gun violence is happening more frequently in the city, but that police have fewer resources to address the problem, due in part to budget constraints. In addition to calling for more help from the county, state and federal levels, Gusciora said more sweeping changes need to occur in the city. Those changes include more recreational options, improving education and creating jobs.
The mayor also said he would like to see more community policing in order to help the regular police force.
"It's an outdated concept to have a police force isolated from daily neighborhood contact," he said. "We need more patrol units to have personal, one-on-one contact with our citizens, and we also need police leadership to be engaged in the streets."
Gusciora encouraged anyone with information to call 609-989-3663 or send an anonymous text message to 274637, starting the message with TPDTIPS. Prosecutors encouraged people with information about the shooting to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406.