Sneakers, witnesses tie city man to Zaire Gibbs murder

All day a Mercer County inmate will be dreaming about his lost sneaker.

Prosecutors said at a bail hearing Thursday for suspected killer Seth Bowers, 21, that a left-footed Adidas sneaker ties him to the murder of Zaire Gibbs, a 25-year-old man who was gunned down last week in the city streets.

Authorities found the shoe on the first block of Washington Street on June 1 and matched it to a right-footed Adidas sneaker discovered at Bowers’ Anderson Street home, not far from the scene of the deadly dustup.

Seth Z. Bowers

Seth Z. Bowers

Bowers turned himself into Trenton Police headquarters on unrelated warrants a day after the shooting. He was charged a day later with Gibbs’ murder.

Prosecutors did not say whether the two men had prior interactions before the murder, in which Bowers is accused of chasing down Gibbs and shooting him in the back.

Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Petrucci said the bullet entered Gibbs’ shoulder and traveled through his body to his lungs, a mortal blow from which he never recovered. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a day later.

In addition to the shoe, prosecutors said Bowers was identified by four witnesses as the shooter.

Petrucci was asked after the bail hearing whether the two men knew each other prior to the fatal encounter, and she responded the “easiest answer is no.”

Detectives who spoke on condition of anonymity said the men may have argued about drugs.

Bowers was out on $100,000 bail on a robbery charge at the time of the murder.

Bowers was supposed to show up June 2 at criminal court for a hearing in the robbery case. But he never turned up, and a warrant was issued for his arrest by Judge Pedro Jimenez.

Zaire Gibbs

Zaire Gibbs

A bail bondsman told the judge his company lost contact with Bowers after posting his bail in February. They tried contacting him and his co-signors by phone and letter but did not receive any response.

Jimenez ordered Bowers held without bail on the robbery charge and maintained bail at $1 million cash in the murder case.

Bowers was found delinquent as a minor of charges of burglary and obstruction, prosecutors said.

Last year, he was arrested after he claimed to be a cop, allegedly pistol-whipped a man with an airsoft gun and stole his wallet, necklace, cash and keys.

Bowers ditched the airsoft gun under a pickup truck during a foot chase with police. He was arrested at gunpoint.

His next court date is set for July 18.

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