Two men shot dead in Trenton gas station parking lot

Two men were murdered in the parking lot of this gas station. Sept. 11, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Two men were murdered in the parking lot of this gas station. Sept. 11, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Patriot Day in the capital city began with a bang.

Two men were shot and killed Sunday morning in the parking lot of a Shell gas station located at the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Chambers Street.

A third male shot at the gas station was transported to the hospital by a private citizen. Officials say the 19-year-old underwent emergency surgery and remains in critical condition.

Officials say detectives were already investigating a shooting that happened about three hours prior when they received information about the double homicide. When law enforcement arrived at the gas station around 3:20 a.m., they found 21-year-old Kordrese Robinson and 16-year-old Jahday Twisdale lying in the parking lot. Officials say both men were shot at least once in the head and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are still trying to piece together details of the incident, but officials said Robinson and Twisdale were acquaintances, and that no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Kordrese Robinson (Facebook photo)

Kordrese Robinson (Facebook photo)

Jahday Twisdale (Facebook photo)

Jahday Twisdale (Facebook photo)

A woman who was at the scene around 4:30 a.m. said she received a call about the incident, but was unsure whether one of the victims was a relative. About an hour later, she received heartbreaking news from law enforcement.

“He was my grandson,” the woman who declined to be identified said. “You can’t even go to the store in this town anymore.”

As the news spread throughout the city, groups of people flocked to the shooting scene. Women cried out in grief, and men hung their heads in sorrow.

An employee at the Lukoil gas station across the street from where the shooting happened said he did not see any suspects and does not know how the incident unfolded.

South Ward Councilman George Muschal visited the murder scene around 5:45 a.m. Sunday, after receiving numerous calls about the incident. He said he decided to drive through after tearing down several signs advertising investors who buy houses on the verge of foreclosure.

“You’re never going to prevent gun violence,” Muschal said, as he pulled up to the curb with about six signs that he knocked down with an ice scraper in the back of his pickup truck. “Police are doing the best they can with the manpower they have.”

Muschal said days like the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are a time to think about what really matters most in life.

“Tragedies like 9/11 change your life forever, and if people thought about that more often, they probably wouldn’t take another person’s life so easily,” the councilman said. “More often than not, when murder suspects get arrested and go through trial, they cry like babies. They realize they made a big mistake, but you can never correct murder. Life is a precious thing.”

For quite some time, the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Chambers Street has been a hotspot for crime, especially late at night and during the early morning hours. Muschal said he thinks it’s time to require all gas stations in the capital city to close by 11 p.m. A city ordinance requires businesses to close by that time, but a few gas stations that were 24-hour establishments before the ordinance was passed are allowed to stay open.

“If I can get support from council, my intentions are to close them down,” Muschal said.

So far this year, 19 people have been killed in the capital city. Sunday’s murders were the second and third killings within a 48-hour period. Twenty-year-old Keyauna Hughey was shot and killed inside a Spring Street home Friday morning.

Police also say a 32-year-old male was shot about three hours prior to the double homicide while walking on Calhoun Street. The victim told police someone fired gunshots from a vehicle occupied by several people that drove past him around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The man was shot once in his right shoulder and twice in the left side of his abdomen. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Anyone with information about Sunday’s killings is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406. Individuals may also call the Trenton police confidential tip line at 609-989-3663 or the Trenton Crime Stoppers tip line at 609-278-8477. Those wishing to text a tip can send a message labeled TCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.

Two men were murdered in the parking lot of this gas station. Sept. 11, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Two men were murdered in the parking lot of this gas station. Sept. 11, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to show the city ordinance requires businesses to close by 11 p.m.

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