Dan Stamm

Stray Bullet Strikes, Kills 9-Year-Old Girl in New Jersey Home

Police ask for the public's help to find Cumberland County girl's killer.

A stray bullet struck and killed a 9-year-old girl inside a South Jersey home overnight.

Police rushed to the area of Elmer and Church streets in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, for a report of gunfire around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Officers found the girl’s family already rushing her to a nearby hospital where Jennifer "Chikis" Trejo, 9, was declared dead a short time later, Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari Sr. said.

Evidence drew police one block away to Elmer and Walnut streets where they say an unknown shooter or shooters opened fire, striking several vehicles and Trejo's home.

Police say the gunman or gunmen were targeting a group of men on the corner.

"The investigation has revealed there were three to four males in the area at the time shots were fired," Cumberland County prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said. "And that one or more of them may have been the shooter or shooters."

The bullet went through the rear wall of the home and into an adjacent room where it struck the girl as she slept in bed, investigators said.

“We need the public’s help in general, but when an incident such as this happens to such a young and innocent victim we could really use the assistance in bringing those responsible to justice immediately,” Gaimari said.

A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to an arrest. If you have any information, please call Bridgeton Police Det. Mark Yoshioka at 856-392-9031, Camden County Prosecutor's Office Det. Harvey Calixto at 856-207-2999 or Bridgeton police at 856-451-0033.

"We hope this hits the heartstrings," Gaimari said. "Enough is enough."

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