Shooting victim pays respects to homicide victim
Jamel Robinson keeps a close eye on the makeshift memorial for Marcus Hunter on the corner of Passaic and Calhoun Streets. A white sheet that reads “SPG RIP MARK 1” has been tied to a chain linked fence at the intersection, with a marker left by the sidewalk for people passing by to write messages. It’s actually the second memorial erected in his honor, the first one had caught on fire.
“The wind blew the candles into the sheet and set it on fire,” Robinson said.
Hunter, who lived on Spring Street, died on Monday from a gunshot wound to the head near the intersection of New Willow and Beakes Street, near Martin Luther King avenue.
He was 16 years old.
“He didn’t have the chance to live his life,” Robinson said.
Robinson, 35, is a shooting victim himself. A few years ago, Robinson had inherited a building in Philadelphia from a family member and a dispute between him and a tenant turned ugly and resulted in Robinson getting shot six times.
Hunter’s sheet is not the only signs of untimely death on the intersection. “RIP Ben” is spray painted into the sidewalk in reference to Benjamin DaVila Jr., who died in front of his grandparents after getting shot in a drive-by shooting in October of last year.
Hunter is city’s fourth homicide victim and 26th overall shooting victim of 2013. He is also the second juvenile to fall to gun violence within the past three months. Joshua Moore, 17, was shot several times on Pennington and Reservoir Streets in December while fleeing in a van from an unknown assailant. His death was part of a spike in shootings that saw six people being wounded in two separate shootings on the 200 block of Spring Street. At the time, police sources had told the Trentonian that the shootings were part of an on-going gang battle between Spring Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, with one them being considered retaliation for Moore’s death.
It’s unclear if Hunter’s death was also a result of gang hostility, given the previous bad blood between the two areas. City police have not released a motive or information about suspects in his death. Robinson declined to speculate on the motive.
“I don’t know, I’m 35 years old, I have kids and I’m not apart of this gang business,” he said. “It’s just sad how we’re losing all these young guys.”
Anyone with information regarding the homicide is asked to call the Trenton Police confidential tipline at (609) 989-3663 or the Crimestoppers tipline at (609) 278-8477.
Those wishing to text a tip regarding the shootings can send a message labelled TCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.