Trenton man with violent past dies in city shooting

By Trentonian reporter Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

A 28-year-old city man who had recently served time in prison for shooting a rival gang member died Saturday afternoon hours after someone had shot him, authorities said.

Trenton police found Leon McClendon inside his car on Sweets Avenue Friday night suffering from a gunshot wound, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. McClendon was rushed to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The death has been ruled a homicide and is being investigated by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.

The shooting, which occurred about 10:45 p.m. Friday, was detected by Trenton’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system, according to Casey DeBlasio, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office. She said the system detected several shots being fired.

DeBlasio did not have any more details as of Saturday afternoon, including information on suspects.

Leon McClendon (Contributed photo)

Leon McClendon (Contributed photo)

McClendon has been known to police. He was arrested last year on drug charges when police raided his Vine Street home and allegedly found 22 grams of crack cocaine and a digital scale. In 2008, McClendon was sentenced to six years in prison for shooting a Crips gang member inside a packed New Jersey Transit bus. A 12-year-old girl was also wounded in that incident.

Prosecutors in 2008 said McClendon was a member of the Bloods street gang.

Sweets Avenue is a small street that intersects with Calhoun Street on one end and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the other.

There were at least two other shootings that occurred in the city following McClendon’s homicide, according to police scanner reports. A man was reportedly shot on the first block of Jersey Street about 5:20 a.m. Saturday and another man was reportedly shot about 2:35 a.m. Saturday on the 300 block of Bellevue Avenue. DeBlasio had no information on any recent shootings other than the one that killed McClendon.

Anyone with information on the slaying can contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or the Trenton Police confidential tip line at (609) 989-3663.

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