Gunmen Shoot Woman 20 Times in Broad Daylight

Police believe Shaela Johnson was targeted by the killers

Two gunmen shot a woman 20 times, killing her in broad daylight on a Trenton, New Jersey, street Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The shooting broke out around 2 p.m. in the 800 block of Stuyvesant Avenue, according to police. The victim, identified by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office as 19-year-old Shaela Johnson, was hit by gunfire multiple times in the head, torso and other parts of her body.

She was pronounced dead at 2:16 p.m., police said.

Shell casings littered the scene. Surveillance video reviewed by police showed two men running and shooting Johnson outside of a corner store. Bystanders ducked inside looking for cover.

Police believe it was a targeted killing by a rival gang, but that hasn't assuaged the fear of those who live in the neighborhood.

"I'm scared. I'm nervous. I don't know if it could happen where I'm at," Trenton resident Shanice Gardner said.

She walks her children to school every day near where the ambush occured. The idea that another shooting could happen when her boys are present terrifies her, she said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Reed Gusciora asked residents to take a proactive approach to stopping violence. 

"If they want their own neighborhoods safe and secure, they need to step up to the plate and help us police ... as well," he said.

In response to the brutal killing, Stop the Violence, a national organization that aims to build bridges between police and the communities they serve, will gather in Mercer County on Wednesday.

Overall, homicides are down in Trenton and across New Jersey as a whole, according to state police crime data. From January 2018 to September 2018, homicides in Trenton were down more than 38 percent and 18 percent in the state.

But the city is still recovering after an arts festival turned bloody more than four months ago. 

Gunfire erupted inside a Roebling Wire Works warehouse during the early morning hours of June 17, injuring at least 22 people attending the Art All Night event.

To date, at least 18 victims have filed tort claim notices intending to sue for what happened at the event.

Investigators, meanwhile, are still looking for the gunmen responsible for Johnson's death. They were seen fleeing the scene in a Nissan Maxima. Anyone with information is asked to contact Trenton police at 609-989-3663.

Contact Us