A Trenton teenager has been arrested and charged for the June 6 shooting death of Oscar Palacios, of Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today.
According to county officials, the 17-year-old Trenton male is charged with murder, attempted murder, felony murder, robbery and firearms offenses. He is being held in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.
Officials said that at approximately 6:10 a.m. on Monday, June 6, Ewing police responded to Priori’s Deli, 301 Hillcrest Avenue. Upon arrival, officers located two adult males suffering from gunshot wounds.
According to officials, both victims were transported to the hospital, where 54-year-old Oscar Palacios was pronounced deceased.
The second victim, a 57-year-old Trenton man, was hospitalized and later released. The two men are brothers and employees of the deli.
Officials said that at approximately 6:00 a.m. that morning, the victims opened the deli and shortly thereafter, the juvenile entered the deli, wearing a dark mask covering his face, and ordered food.
The juvenile pointed a handgun at the victims and demanded money. The juvenile fired the gun, grazing the 57-year-old victim’s forehead.
According to county officials, a physical struggle ensued between the victim and the juvenile, during which the juvenile shot the victim in the abdomen.
The juvenile then fired again, striking Oscar Palacios in the chest. The juvenile then fled the area on a bicycle.
The juvenile was identified through surveillance video from the surrounding area from the time of the shooting.
Officials said that on the surveillance video, he could be seen riding a multi-colored mountain bike and wearing a black jacket and white sneakers with the word “AIR” in large letters on the side.
The juvenile was taken into custody on an unrelated warrant on June 21. At the time of that arrest, Detectives noticed that he was wearing the same sneakers observed in the surveillance video from June 6.
They also observed what appeared to be dried blood on the juvenile’s sneakers.
Officials said that on July 29, Homicide Task Force Detectives received the results of laboratory analysis conducted by the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences that identified the blood on the juvenile’s shoes to be a DNA match to the 57-year-old victim who was shot inside the deli.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.