2 shot, 1 killed as Tren­ton’s lat­est gun vi­o­lence pushes off planned Bond St cleanup ef­fort >>

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

TREN­TON » A late-night shoot­ing left one per­son in­jured and an­other man dead, spawn­ing a homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­rail­ing the new mayor’s com­mu­nity cleanup ini­tia­tive on Bond Street Satur­day morn­ing.

“We are still go­ing to do Bond Street,” Mayor Reed Gus­ciora said Satur­day af­ter­noon af­ter he and a team of vol­un­teers re­moved truck­loads of garbage from nearby San­ford Street. “It got side­lined by the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but we are go­ing to con­tinue on. It turned out San­ford was an all-day job any­way.”

Au­thor­i­ties iden­ti­fied the de­ceased vic­tim as Jibri Chisholm, 26, of Tren­ton.

Gun­fire erupted in Tren­ton’s North Ward about 11:55 p.m. Fri­day on Bond Street near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boule­vard, trig­ger­ing a ShotSpot­ter ac­ti­va­tion in the 600 block of MLK. Of­fi­cers quickly ar­rived on scene and found one man suf­fer­ing from a gun­shot graze wound and Chisholm suf­fer­ing from mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds just be­fore mid­night, au­thor­i­ties said.

Both vic­tims were rushed to Cap­i­tal Health Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter for treat­ment. Chisholm, also known as Chisolm, was pro­nounced dead a short time later. The other man was treated for a non-life-threat­en­ing in­jury, a Mercer County Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice spokes­woman con­firmed Satur­day.

The lat­est homi­cide in this 7.5-square-mile cap­i­tal city oc­curs at a time when the Tren­ton Po­lice Depart­ment was im­ple­ment­ing op­er­a­tional part­ner­ships with the Mercer County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and other law-en­force­ment part­ners to ar­rest more law­break­ers in re­sponse to the re­cent spate of gun vi­o­lence that has rocked Tren­ton since June.

Eight vic­tims since June have been killed in the cap­i­tal city.

“It’s a re­sult of eco­nomic con­di­tions and the lack of hope you see in these neigh­bor­hoods,” Gus­ciora said in an in­ter­view. “That’s why clean­ing them up is so im­por­tant.”

The City of Tren­ton un­der Gus­ciora’s lead­er­ship planned to host a North Ward com­mu­nity cleanup on Bond and San­ford streets Satur­day morn­ing. The homi­cide pre­vented the Bond Street cleanup from oc­cur­ring and re­sulted in the city ex­clu­sively fo­cus­ing its en­ergy on re­mov­ing truck­loads of junk, rub­bish and de­bris from nearby San­ford Street.

“This is so much more than trash,” the mayor said as vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing stu­dents from The Col­lege of New Jersey, gath­ered around him off San­ford Street near Brunswick Av­enue. “You see the chal­lenges here.”

The lack of jobs and lack of op­por­tu­ni­ties pushes some res­i­dents into “do­ing il­le­gal stuff” to make a liv­ing, Gus­ciora told The Tren­to­nian. “Once guns be­come in­volved you get the turf wars. We have to cre­ate bet­ter ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for them and cre­ate jobs.”

North Ward Coun­cil­woman Marge Cald­wellWil­son and East Ward Coun­cil­man Joseph Har­ri­son par­tic­i­pated in Satur­day’s cleanup. “Never seen so much garbage,” Cald­wellWil­son told the news­pa­per.

“These prob­lems are fix­able,” Har­ri­son said in an in­ter­view. “You have to take pride where you live at. You want to see it get bet­ter for the next gen­er­a­tion of kids. I want to see these kids be doc­tors, be the fu­ture.”

John Har­mon, a for­mer Tren­ton may­oral can­di­date who grew up on San­ford Street, said this side of Tren­ton used to be de­fined by en­trepreneurs and work­ing-class spirit.

“It’s not the same neigh­bor­hood,” he said, “but hope­fully we can turn it around. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t op­ti­mistic we could get the city on the

right tra­jec­tory.”

So far this year, Tren­ton has ex­pe­ri­enced 17 killings, which in­cludes three ve­hic­u­lar homi­cides and the death of Ta­haij Wells, who was killed by po­lice dur­ing an early morn­ing shootout at a 24-hour arts fes­ti­val.

TPD in re­cent weeks has ex­e­cuted a num­ber of op­er­a­tional

de­ploy­ment strate­gies de­signed to crack down on those re­spon­si­ble for per­pet­u­at­ing vi­o­lence as well as those who con­trib­ute to it, ac­cord­ing to Tren­ton Po­lice Capt. Stephen Varn, who is­sued a news re­lease last week say­ing these strate­gies were de­vel­oped based upon the anal­y­sis of cur­rent crime pat­terns and crim­i­nal in­tel­li­gence in­for­ma­tion.

Be­tween Aug. 6 and Aug. 31, of­fi­cers made over

250 ar­rests for var­i­ous of­fenses, po­lice said. In­cluded in those ar­rests were nine ar­rests for un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a hand­gun, one ar­rest for un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of an as­sault ri­fle, six ar­rests for rob­bery, over 80 drug-re­lated ar­rests, 70 ar­rests for ac­tive war­rants and 29 ju­ve­niles were taken into cus­tody for cur­few vi­o­la­tion.

Twenty firearms were con­fis­cated or re­cov­ered and over 3,500 decks of heroin

were seized dur­ing that time pe­riod last month, po­lice said, adding cops also seized over 500 grams of marijuana, more than 135 pills and over $43,000 in sus­pected drug money.

Tren­ton Po­lice of­fi­cers were able to take these en­force­ment ac­tions while still re­spond­ing to over 8,000 calls for ser­vice, Varn re­ported in that Sept. 7 news re­lease.

TPD con­tin­ues to strate­gize with lo­cal, county,

state and fed­eral part­ners to de­velop plans and op­er­a­tions to ad­dress the vi­o­lence, Varn said, adding Mayor Gus­ciora and In­terim Po­lice Di­rec­tor Pe­dro Me­d­ina have met with New Jersey’s high­est-rank­ing law-en­force­ment of­fi­cials ear­lier this month to ex­am­ine the re­cent spate of vi­o­lence that has af­flicted the City of Tren­ton dur­ing Gus­ciora’s first three months in of­fice.

But none of that was able to pre­vent Fri­day’s blood­shed.

The Mercer County Homi­cide Task Force is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Fri­day’s slay­ing. Au­thor­i­ties as of Satur­day af­ter­noon have not an­nounced any ar­rests in the case, and no sus­pect de­scrip­tions have been re­leased. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the fa­tal shoot­ing may con­tact the task force at (609) 989-6406.

Jibri Chisholm


Tren­ton Mayor Reed Gus­ciora, sport­ing eye­glasses and a “We lift Tren­ton to­gether” base­ball cap, talks to a group of vol­un­teers af­ter they re­moved truck­loads of garbage from San­ford Street on Satur­day, Sept. 15, 2018.

Jibri Chisholm

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