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Grand Jury Charges Trenton Man with Murder of Transgender Woman

By rlsmetro on

A Mercer County grand jury returned a four-count indictment this week charging Daniel L. Smith with the July shooting death of Shaquil Loftin in Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

According to Prosecutor Onofri, Smith, 37, of Trenton, is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a handgun and certain persons not to possess a firearm. 

He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending trial.

According to Prosecutor Onofri, on Friday, July 30, at approximately 4:40 a.m., Trenton police responded to a report of a shooting at a residence in the first block of Kelsey Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, identified as 23-year-old Loftin, shot in the face. 

Prosecutor Onofri said that Loftin was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.

A search warrant was executed at the Kelsey Avenue residence. Witnesses were interviewed, and area surveillance footage was reviewed. 

According to Prosecutor Onofri, as a result, Smith was identified as the individual who shot and killed Loftin.

Detectives continue to investigate what prompted the attack. The case remains under investigation for potential bias charges as Loftin is transgender and identified as female.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Dave Petelle at (609) 989-6406. Tips can also be emailed to