Man found shot and killed inside a car Wednesday morning

A city man was found shot and killed inside a vehicle Wednesday morning on McKinley Avenue.

According to law enforcement, around 6 a.m. Wednesday, police were dispatched to McKinley Avenue to investigate a suspicious vehicle that was parked on the side of the road. Police were told that someone was inside the vehicle, and when officers arrived on scene, they found a male inside a silver Jeep Cherokee suffering from a gunshot wound.

Criminal Investigation Bureau Detectives and the Mercer County Homicide Task Force were then dispatched to investigate the matter. And a medical examiner later pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The victim was later identified as 25-year-old William B. Massaquoi Jr.

Sources told The Trentonian that Massaquoi was found in the driver’s seat with the engine running, and that he had been shot in the back of the head. But police would only confirm that the vehicle’s engine was running; they declined to comment on where Massaquoi was seated in the vehicle and the location of his gunshot wound.

Wednesday’s murder was the 13th homicide to occur within the city this year, which is one less than the number of people who were killed within the first five months of 2013—counting the death of Gerald Murphy who was justifiably shot and killed by police on May 12 last year.

“I am angered and frustrated,” Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera Jr. said Wednesday afternoon. “However, with every violent crime and every victim comes a rejuvenated determination from this police department and its officers to do everything we can to prevent, solve and hold accountable individuals that deprive this city’s citizens of peace and quality of life.”

According to Rivera, so far this year there have been 89 people struck by gunfire during 74 separate incidents. And most of the victims were males in their 20s and 30s. Of the 13 homicide victims this year, only two of them died from injuries other than gunshot wounds: Dwelle Jerome Clark was stabbed to death and Julio Cesar Cruz was beaten to death.

The state’s Attorney General recently doubled the amount of state troopers deployed to the city in order to assist Trenton police in combating the increase in violence that accompanies the summer months. A few weeks ago, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said the majority of shootings in Trenton involve suspects or victims who are wanted on outstanding criminal warrants. And along with three Crime Suppression Units to target high-crime areas, the AG recently formed a full-time Warrant Squad that will focus on arresting individuals with outstanding warrants.

“Recent arrests in the city reflect a collaborative effort between the citizens of Trenton, their police Department and partnering agencies,” Director Rivera said Wednesday. “In recent cases, citizens providing information to the police department has led directly to the arrest of violent and nonviolent offenders. Although more police can and would help, there is no quick or easy solution to this problem of drugs and the violent culture that accompanies it. We call upon the community to continue to work with its police department and with each other to address these issues in their neighborhoods.”

Massaquoi’s murder is being investigated by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.

Anyone with information may call (609) 989-6406, or use the Trenton police confidential tip line at (609) 989-3663. Tipsters may also call the Trenton Crime Stoppers tipline at (609) 278-8477. Those wishing to text a tip can send a message labeled TCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.

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