Two sep­a­rate shoot­ing in­ci­dents in Tren­ton leave two men dead, one woman wounded

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­laiman Ab­dur-Rah­man Su­laiman@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @sab­durr on Twit­ter

TREN­TON » Wild shoot­ings in a South Tren­ton neigh­bor­hood left two peo­ple dead, in­clud­ing a fa­ther of eight who was gunned down early Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to rel­a­tives at the crime scene.

Shawn “Squirm” Har­rell, a lov­ing fa­ther who would have turned 41 next Sun­day, was shot and killed about 2:30 a.m. Satur­day while he was stand­ing next to his blue Dodge Du­rango, ac­cord­ing to his griev­ing fam­ily mem­bers.

“They came to my house about 3-some­thing in the morn­ing and told me my brother is dead,” SAGE Coali­tion Di­rec­tor of Ur­ban Af­fairs Ear­lie Har­rell, bet­ter known on the streets as Mes­siah, said as po­lice con­tin­ued their homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “My brother was a fam­ily man. He took care of his kids. He’s just dead for no rea­son now.”

Re­spond­ing of­fi­cers found Shawn Har­rell suf­fer­ing from mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds on the side of a Power Street res­i­dence in the area of Day­mond Street. He was pro­nounced dead at the hospi­tal, of­fi­cials said.

The other homi­cide vic­tim was iden­ti­fied as An­thony Flow­ers, 43, of Pem­ber­ton, who was pro­nounced dead at the scene af­ter be­ing shot mul­ti­ple times on the 500 block of Lam­ber­ton Street about 9:20 p.m. Fri­day, au­thor­i­ties said. That shoot­ing also struck and in­jured a woman.

Of­fi­cers re­sponded to a shoot­ing-in-progress and found Flow­ers lo­cated in the vestibule hall space of 538 Lam­ber­ton St. He was un­re­spon­sive and pro­nounced dead at the scene. The fe­male vic­tim was shot in­side the Lam­ber­ton res­i­dence, suf­fer­ing a gun­shot wound to the arm. She was trans­ported to the hospi­tal to treat her wounds, which were not con­sid­ered life-threat­en­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Mercer County Prose­cu­tor’s Of­fice.

Both homi­cides oc­curred in the same neigh­bor­hood and less than half a mile away from one an­other. “We have to make sure we work to­gether to stop the shoot­ings, stop the vi­o­lence and stop the mur­ders,” Tren­ton Mayor Eric Jack­son told a crowd of gath­er­ers dur­ing a “Ride for Peace” tour stop Satur­day af­ter­noon at the in­ter­sec­tion of Oak­land Street and Hoff­man Av­enue. The en­tourage fea­tured more than 100 mo­tor­cy­clists who had ac­com­pa­nied the mayor to some of the rough­est neigh­bor­hoods in the 7.5-square-mile cap­i­tal city.

Gun­play af­ter­math

Shawn Har­rell’s SUV ap­pears to have sus­tained gun­shot dam­age on the front win­dow. Sev­eral hours af­ter get­ting mur­dered, his ve­hi­cle re­mained parked at the end of Day­mond Street near Bridge Street. Ly­ing on the ground next to the blue Du­rango was a white base­ball cap that fam­ily mem­bers said be­longed to Shawn Har­rell.

Yel­low po­lice tape blocked off the rear end of Day­mond Street as de­tec­tives an­a­lyzed the scene and took pho­tos.

Har­rell’s griev­ing rel­a­tives dis­played raw emo­tions on Satur­day as they found them­selves deal­ing with an­other fam­ily tragedy. In­deed, the shoot­ing death of Har­rell is not the first time the fam­ily lost a loved one to gun vi­o­lence

Nyquan R. Owens, 20, died from gun vi­o­lence on Aug. 3, 2013, in a city shoot­ing that oc­curred on the 300 block of Brunswick Av­enue. That case re­mains un­solved.

Other fam­ily mem­bers de­scribed Shawn Har­rell as a “good dude” who was mur­dered as an “in­no­cent by­s­tander.”

“It’s hurt­ful. It’s not fair,” said Robin Green, one of Shawn Har­rell’s cousins who con­sid­ered him more as a si­b­ling. “Get these guns off the street.”

Shawn Har­rell had eight chil­dren and a long­time fi­ancée, ac­cord­ing to his rel­a­tives. They said he liked to lis­ten to mu­sic and have fun.

A Day­mond Street res­i­dent and fam­ily friend said he was in­side his house when Har­rell was gunned down. He said he heard mul­ti­ple gun­shots and im­me­di­ately started duck­ing for cover. “I’m de­bat­ing if I should go to work,” he said about 8 a.m. Satur­day, “be­cause I didn’t get any sleep.”

In the wake of the overnight vi­o­lence, Mayor Jack­son and Po­lice Di­rec­tor Ernest Par­rey Jr. par­tic­i­pated

Satur­day morn­ing in the an­nual prayer walk led by the Rev. Barry Vazquez, pas­tor and founder of Tren­ton-based Liv­ing by Grace Fel­low­ship Inc.

“We prayed at the po­lice sta­tion. We prayed at the fire de­part­ment and at City Hall as well,” Par­rey said in an in­ter­view with The Tren­to­nian. “It’s about com­mu­nity get­ting to­gether.”

The prayer walk was al­ready planned for Satur­day be­fore the overnight slay­ings, with the event in­tended to pro­mote peace and fel­low­ship. “It just so hap­pens that it co­in­cided with the events of last night,” Par­rey said, “but we had a great turnout.”

In terms of the lat­est blood­shed to rock the South Tren­ton com­mu­nity, “We are go­ing to do ev­ery­thing in our pow­ers to lo­cate and ar­rest the of­fend­ers,” Par­rey added. “We are go­ing to be pay­ing special at­ten­tion to that area be­cause we don’t want to see this vi­o­lence es­ca­late any more than it al­ready has.”

The mayor and po­lice di­rec­tor both par­tic­i­pated in the “Ride for Peace” tour fol­low­ing the Satur­day morn­ing prayer walk.

Both events were in­tended to send one mes­sage: “We want to stop the gun vi­o­lence, we want to stop the shoot­ings; we want to bring peace back in the city,” Jack­son said in an in­ter­view with The Tren­to­nian. “We had two shoot­ings last night, two deaths. That’s in­tol­er­a­ble in our city. We’re not go­ing to stand for it, so I am urg­ing folks to come off the side­lines, get in­volved, let’s talk up, let’s be up, but most of all let’s en­cour­age our kids, our peo­ple around us, put the guns down and let’s talk things out as op­posed to shoot­ing things out.”

Both shoot­ing in­ci­dents are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Mercer County Homi­cide Task Force , and de­tec­tives will probe whether the in­ci­dents were re­lated. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about ei­ther slay­ing is urged to call the Mercer County Homi­cide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or the Tren­ton Po­lice Confidential Tip Line at (609) 989-3663.


Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate the homi­cide scene where a Trenton man was shot and killed Satur­day, Sept. 16, 2017, off Day­mond Street near Bridge Street in South Trenton.


A “Ride for Peace” tour rum­bles through Trenton’s West Ward on Satur­day, hours after two men were shot and killed in the cap­i­tal city.

Shawn “Squirm” Har­rell

An­thony Flow­ers

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