Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that a third teenager has been arrested in a September shooting on Bellevue Avenue in Trenton that claimed the lives of 15-year-old Shemiah Davis and 19-year-old Candice Ruff.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, a 16-year-old male from Trenton has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, theft by receiving stolen property, and firearms offenses.
He was taken into custody in Trenton by members of the Trenton Police Department on July 25, 2022. He is being held in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.
Prosecutor Onofri stated that Almere Barnes, 17, of Trenton, and Isaiah Lee, 16, of Hamilton, were previously charged as juveniles in December 2021 with the same offenses.
According to officials, on June 23, 2022, the Family Court granted the State’s motion for waiver of jurisdiction to the Superior Court, Law Division, Criminal Part, and Barnes and Lee were formally charged as adults. Both have been ordered detained.
These charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department.
According to the investigation, at approximately 6:45 p.m. on September 25, 2021, Trenton Police responded to a Shot Spotter activation for multiple rounds in the first block of Bellevue Avenue.
Upon arrival, officers identified two victims at the scene. Davis suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso.
Officials said that she was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. Ruff suffered gunshot wounds to her head and died as a result of her injuries on October 4.
Two additional victims arrived at the hospital by private vehicle, including a 17-year-old who was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg.
Through video surveillance and witness statements, detectives were eventually able to identify all three suspects who participated in these murders.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.