When I heard about the mass shooting on Bellevue Avenue in Trenton on Saturday night where 15-year-old Shemiah Davis was killed, I was outraged. Three other victims; a 19-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 17-year-old were also injured in the shooting. The 19-year-old woman is in critical condition after being shot multiple times, while the 17-year-old male is in stable condition with a leg wound. Although specific details are still developing, the impact of the shootings has caused many in the community to cry for justice.
This is not my first time hearing about a killing in Trenton and I’m sure it won't be the last; however, the fact that a young girl had her life stolen in such a senseless way should evoke more than apathy from the city’s residents. Shemiah Davis deserved better. We deserve better. Our state capital deserves more.
Shemiah Davis was a young girl who wasn’t afforded the opportunity to go to the prom, or don a cap and gown and walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma in front of her friends and family. Shemiah Davis wasn’t given the opportunity to see her full potential. Not only was her life taken, but Trenton was robbed of the potential her life could have had for the capital city. We have to protect our children at all costs and not allow ourselves to dismiss victims of violence in the city by categorizing their lives in the “other” department: This shooting or murder happened somewhere ‘other’ than my neighborhood or to some ‘other family.’
Saturday’s shooting is currently under investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department. Last year, Trenton reported a record-breaking 40 homicides. It's imperative that we protect our children and allow them the ability to grow up in a safe environment where they can just be kids.
“Acting Police Director Steve Wilson and I are outraged following the senseless shooting of four Trentonians, ages 20, 15, 17, and 19, on Bellevue Avenue near North 25 Housing on Saturday evening. Tragically, the 15-year-old has passed away. We stand with these families in their hour of unspeakable pain,” Mayor Reed Gusciora wrote in a statement.
“The scourge of gun violence in cities across America is profoundly impacting our communities. It is terrifying and unsettling to feel the weight of this issue so close to our home and our hearts,” the Mayor further explained.
It was announced in June that after two years on the job as police director for the capital city, Sheila Coley was let go. During her time heading the Trenton police department, she received a lot of flack for the rise in crime within the city. But to blame the rise in violence on one person or entity is not fair. We all have to take responsibility to make sure our kids are safe. Finding solutions to combat the rise in violence in our city won't happen overnight, but with a strategic plan and all hands on deck, a change is possible.
Mayor Gusciora has asked residents of Bellevue Avenue, including North 25 Housing and the public, to come forward with any information that might help the city identify the perpetrators of these shootings and bring them to justice. You can provide confidential information to the Homicide Task Force of the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office at (609) 989-6406.