Trenton man stabbed to death by roommate in South Ward

A whole month without a murder during the capital city’s deadliest year was too good to be true.

Early Sunday morning, a 24-year-old Trenton man lost his life after his roommate stabbed him to death on the 800 block of South Clinton Avenue in the South Ward, according to Trenton Police Lt. Mark Kieffer.

Kieffer said the victim, Raul Cruz, was stabbed once in the chest by his roommate, Fredy Gonzalez, 23, with a steak knife and later died from his injuries at Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

Cruz is the first murder for the month of September in Trenton, after the previous month saw the capital city break the murder record for a year.

Kieffer said police were called to the scene by a roommate at approximately 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

“One of the other residents held (Gonzalez) there until police got there,” Kieffer said. “Police got there put him in custody and we recovered the weapon.”

Kieffer said police don’t yet have a motive for the killing.

Gonzalez is being charged with homicide and weapon possession.

“It’s a pretty open and shut case,” Kieffer said.

At least six roommates lived in the rooming house on South Clinton, according to Kieffer..

One neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said she didn’t hear anything early Sunday morning.

“The only thing I saw was that there were some people moving in there early Saturday,” she said. “I think they were new people.”

With the most recent murder, the woman said she has reached her breaking point residing on the street.

“It’s the third murder on this street and there have been multiple robberies,” she said. “I’m moving because of it. It’s not safe.”

The woman said crime in the area has gotten worse ever since the city laid off 105 officers two years ago.

“I haven’t seen any cops around this area,” she said. “I called them not too long ago, they took an hour to respond because they are so short on cops.”

Last week, acting Attorney General John Hoffman touted the success of a state police deployment to crime-ridden areas called Targeted Integrated Deployment Effort (TIDE) in Trenton.

Statistics provided by Hoffman on the effectiveness of the program showed a 57 percent reduction in murders an 47 percent drop in non-fatal shootings from the 40 days prior to the start of the initiative on Aug. 15.

The resident claimed she has not seen the surge in deployments of state troopers to the 800 block of South Clinton.

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