Man murdered outside liquor store in Trenton
TRENTON >> The capital city almost made it through the first month of the year without a murder.
But tragedy struck Monday night outside a North Ward liquor store.
A man was murdered at approximately 9:45 p.m. in front of Dee Dee’s Lounge & Liquor Store at 549 Brunswick Ave.
A spokeswoman for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Tuesday that Tian Thompson, 34, of Trenton, was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the head after the city’s ShotSpotter technology detected gunfire in the area. Thompson was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later, spokeswoman Casey DeBlasio said.
Dee Dee’s owner Abel Reyes said he was working last night when the shooting occurred. He said the victim was a regular bar customer who was smoking a cigarette outside.
The shooter was walking from Chase Court when he turned left on Brunswick to head toward the hospital.
“The shooter pretended like he was going to the hospital and that’s when he stopped and started firing,” Reyes said, noting it appears the victim was targeted and several shots were fired. “As soon as he saw the guy smoking the cigarette, he started shooting.”
Several other people were outside when the shooting occurred, Reyes said, but the victim was the only one hit.
Reyes said the victim was nice to him and his employees but “he was doing some wrong,” indicating that he was dealing drugs.
“He never bothered me,” said Reyes, who has owned the store for seven years. “It’s sad to see that people get killed for no reason.”
Surveillance video from the store captured the murder, Reyes said.
Employees from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office were at the scene Tuesday afternoon downloading the footage.
The glass front door of the store, which closes at midnight, was hit with a bullet. The door’s glass was cracked and there was a bullet hole visible in a Bud Light logo on the door.
A couple spots on the sidewalk were also circled with yellow chalk, indicating that bullets were found in those areas.
Reyes said nothing like this has ever happened since he owned the place. He said he was disheartened.
“I wish the police stopped by more often,” the owner said. “Sometimes, in a week, you don’t see a cop drive by.”
Reyes said immediately after the shooting he called 9-1-1.
“After I called, a cop drove by and didn’t stop,” Reyes claimed.
Trenton Detective Lt. Chris Doyle declined to comment on the owner’s allegations.
“The case is under investigation and we’ll see what the investigation shows,” he said.
Friends and relatives took to social media to pay tribute to the victim, many of whom knew Thompson as “Dread.”
One woman who witnessed the shooting was shocked to learn of Thompson’s death on Tuesday.
“Did he die?” she asked the reporter before hearing the devastating news. “Yeah, I knew him. That’s deep. He was young too.”
The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department are investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406. Individuals may also call 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.