Teenager killed in late night Sunday shooting on Stuyvesant Avenue
About six hours before 16-year-old Rayquan Brown was gunned down on Stuyvesant Avenue, he picked up his grandmother from work and they went shopping.
“We went to ShopRite and then came home,” his grandmother Sheila Holman said. “He left the house a little after 6 p.m. And when he walked out the door, he said, ‘I love you nanny.’ And I said, ‘I love you more.’”
That was the last time Holman spoke with her grandson.
Around 10 p.m. Sunday, police were dispatched to the 800 block of Stuyvesant Avenue to investigate a reported shooting. And upon arrival, officers found Brown lying on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Police also found a 26-year-old victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the groin. And both victims were then taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where Brown was later pronounced dead.
“I first thought he was going to be okay, but I couldn’t believe it when he died,” his sister Rondasha Brown said with tears streaming down her face. “We were real close.”
According to family members, Brown always had a smile on his face; and he loved to ride dirt bikes, play basketball and swim.
“If he could ride a four wheeler and bounce a ball at the same time he would’ve been good,” his other grandmother Brenda Brown said.
Rayquan Brown was a 10th grade student who attended the Delaware Valley School for Exceptional Children, his mother Cheree Love said. And over the past couple of weeks, Brown had expressed to his family that he felt unsafe in Trenton.
“He didn’t feel safe in Trenton,” Love said. “He started to feel like this city was not the place for him to be anymore. He was a good kid, and he was smart too; he had excellent grades in school.”
Ashante Sexton, who also attends Delaware Valley School, has known Brown for 3 ½ years. She said most of the students were emotional Monday at school.
“Everyone at school was crying,” Sexton said. “Rayquan wasn’t a bad person; he was a really good friend and he always made everyone laugh. He never had issues with anyone. I can’t believe he’s dead; it still doesn’t feel real.”
Brown is the first person under the age of 18 to be killed in Trenton this year. In 2013, there were three homicide victims who were under the age of 18.
“Citizens are bickering about who they want as mayor of Trenton but the picture is much bigger than that,” Sheila Holman said. “We need to stop the killing of our kids. We need to get these guns off the street so kids can be able to play outside and not be robbed of a decent life.”
At this time, police have not made any arrests in connection with Brown’s death. And they do not have a suspected motivation for the killing.
The case is being investigated by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force. And anyone with information is asked to 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.
Below is a roundup of Tweets that were published in Brown’s memory the morning after his death.