Trenton’s most interesting murders of 2015

This mural in memory of Unkle Lord, aka Davae Dickson, was painted by Will Kasso of S.A.G.E. Coalition at the corner of Chambers and Locust streets. (contributed photo)

This mural in memory of Unkle Lord, aka Davae Dickson, was painted by Will Kasso of S.A.G.E. Coalition at the corner of Chambers and Locust streets. (contributed photo)

The number of people murdered in the capital city declined for a second year in a row, but the killing of any single person is a loss of one life too many.

No single person’s death is more important than another’s, as each murder brings heartbreak and suffering to people still living. Several murders captured the city’s hearts and minds this year, for a variety of reasons. This is a short list of those that were most captivating.

Elvin Kimble

Citizens who live on Division Street described it as a “gun battle.” Witnesses said they heard as many as 20 gunshots, and the remnants of a shootout were apparent as residents inspected bullet holes in their cars, firefighters washed blood off of the concrete and crime scene investigators collected shell casings.

Elvin Kimble

Elvin Kimble

Elvin Kimble, 19, was found dead behind a home in the 700 block of Division Street around 6:15 a.m. on November 24. But the aforementioned shootout happened approximately six hours prior to his body being found. Police had found evidence of a shooting when they were dispatched to the intersection of Rusling Street and Chestnut Avenue around 12:30 a.m. that Tuesday, but they did not find a victim. Kimble’s body was found by citizens as they left their home to go to work.

Prosecutors say it appears Kimble was shot near the intersection of Rusling and Chestnut, and then managed to run to Division Street where he collapsed and was hidden by a van. Officials also say the incident appears to have been a shootout between at least two people who were on opposite sides of Rusling Street.

Police sources who spoke on condition of anonymity say Kimble was found wearing a ski mask, and that he still had a gun in his hand at the time of his death. Investigators believe Kimble planned a robbery, but was killed by his target.

To date, no arrests have been made in connection with Kimble’s death. And it’s possible that no one will ever be charged with murder in connection with the case because it appears that Kimble was killed in self-defense.

Davae Dickson

Davae Dickson (contributed photo)

Davae Dickson

City rapper Unkle Lord, who was a founding member of Section Family Entertainment, was gunned down in Morton Alley on September 13. It was a Sunday morning, and the presence of police cars and crime scene tape were a surprise to residents when they returned home from church.

At the time of his death, Lord — whose legal name is Davae Dickson — was in the process of producing a new album that was expected to be released soon, according to his colleagues.

“He was rapping so that he wouldn’t be in the streets,” a man who asked to remain anonymous said. “Music is all he wanted to do.”

People who knew 21-year-old Dickson said they were surprised to hear he was murdered because “he’s not the type to be involved in trouble.” Dickson knew several street hustlers, his friends said, but he was not involved in the gang lifestyle.

Dickson’s friends described him as “a fun dude to be around,” who “had his head on his shoulders” and “could’ve been a role model for the young people” of Trenton.

In fact, people who knew Dickson loved and respected him so much that Will Kasso of S.A.G.E. Coalition painted a mural in his memory at the corner of Chambers and Locust streets.

To date, no arrests have been made in connection with Dickson’s death.

Jah’vae Minney

Jah'vae Minney

Jah’vae Minney

Sixteen-year-old Jah’vae Minney was the only minor to be killed in the city this year, and his death sparked an unexpected outcry. After he was gunned down near the corner of Prospect Street and Bellevue Avenue on June 26, pictures of Minney fanning cash and flashing street signs were shared across social media; and The Trentonian published a picture of a memorial banner that included the phrase “#116 Gang” on the front page of the newspaper.

Readers concluded that Minney was a gangbanger, and in the July 2 edition of the newspaper, contributors to Back Talk assumed he was killed because he was in a gang. Citizens also called police claiming there was an issue with “Vae Gang” or “Twizzy Gang,” but law enforcement concluded those phrases were nothing more than his friends representing him and mourning his death.

After speaking with city officials and members of the community, The Trentonian learned that Minney had applied for a summer job with the City of Trenton about 10 days before his death. His father Eric Parks said Minney also applied for another job, but was murdered before he had a chance to interview for the position. Minney was also an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church, which he attended on a regular basis for at least a year and a half.

Police acknowledged that some of the people rumored to associate with Minney may have questionable pasts, but it appears Minney himself was trying to live a straight life. People who knew Minney defended him on social media and said he was not a member of a gang. The misperceptions surrounding Minney’s death led to a series of articles about the state of gangs in Trenton.

To date, no one has been arrested for Minney’s murder.

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