Twenty-two People Were Iinjured at a 24-hour Art Festival in New Jersey
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY — June 18, 2016
Suspects include Tahaij Wells, 33, who is believed to have been killed by police. He had already served ten years in prison on homicide-related charges. Also wanted in the murder and for possession of weapons and ammunition: Amir Armstrong, 23.
According to prosecutor Angelo Onofri, prior to the shooting, there were "numerous altercations" inside and outside the Festival that involved as many as 1,000 people were in the area. There was then gunfire from three corners of the intersection. The police tried to shut the festival down. To their surprise, the festival entrances had no metal detectors.
"It absolutely could have been worse given the confined space and the number of shots that appear to have been fired," he added.
All victims were transported to the Capital Health Regional Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center were treated for gunshot wounds.
Four of the wounded - including a 13-year-old boy - are in critical condition. One of them is believed to also be a suspect and is the only person still in critical condition.
According to witnesses, it was a chaotic scene.
"All of a sudden, my brother goes to me, 'You hear that gunfire?' I go, 'It sounds like fireworks.' He said, 'No, that's gunfire.' Next thing you know, we turn around, and everybody's running down the street. All hell broke loose," Angelo Nicolo of Trenton told the station.
Nicolo saw one person with a gunshot wound, he said. Police are questioning other witnesses to determine if other suspects could still be at large.
Festival is an annual event featured more than 1,500 works of art, live murals and graffiti, dozens of musical performances and a film festival. The event is now in its 12th year.
"It’s with great regret that we announce that the remainder of Art All Night has been canceled due to a tragic incident that occurred overnight... Our sincere, heartfelt sympathies are with those who were injured. We know there are a lot of questions and a lot of speculation at this point. We’re still trying ourselves to piece this entire situation together." said a representative’s statement.
The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office Homicide Task Force will lead the investigation as there was an officer-involved shooting.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy toured the scene and told reporters the shooting was "an awful, awful tragedy and yet another example of senseless gun violence."