Man shot and killed Wednesday afternoon
UPDATE: The victim has been identified as 53-year-old Michael Brancolino Jr.
A resident who lives at the intersection of Hudson Street and Hamilton Avenue returned home from picking up her child from school and found crime scene tape blocking the entrance to her home; about 10 shell casings littered the ground in front of her door.
“I was afraid for my child’s life,” the woman who asked to remain anonymous said.
A man was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon, marking the second homicide to occur in the capital city this year.
If the shooting had happened 15 to 20 minutes later than it did, kids would have occupied the area. The aforementioned woman returned home minutes after the shooting occurred.
Officials say the victim is a white male in his 50s; his name is being withheld pending family notification. He was pronounced dead at the scene around 3:40 p.m.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation, but sources told The Trentonian law enforcement believe the suspect was on Hamilton Avenue shooting toward the intersection of Hudson and Bayard.
The victim was struck at least once in the chest, and his body was found about a block away from where officials believe the gunman stood. The victim’s purple BMW was parked nearby.
Sources say there may have been multiple gunmen involved. Sources also say there’s a possibility the victim was not the intended target of the shooting. But police could not provide any further preliminary information as of press time.
Payten Mcleod, owner of the On Time Equipment auto repair shop at the intersection of Hamilton and Hudson, stood outside his business with several associates and expressed frustration about how Trenton’s ongoing violence affects his bottom line.
“This is crazy,” he said, adding he did not see but only heard the gunplay. “My business is getting slower and slower because of this. I’ve been here almost three years trying to get this spot up and running. I can’t make it. We don’t have anyone supporting us. We are trying to serve the community, and they are trying to run us away.”
Residents watched police conduct the homicide investigation Wednesday evening. Some of them, including parents who escorted young children by hand, appeared shell-shocked as they walked down the normally busy Hamilton Avenue in the minutes and hours following the shooting.
Police used manpower, law enforcement vehicles and crime tape to control the scene. Police SUVs blocked a stretch of Hamilton Avenue from South Clinton to Whittaker Avenue. Yellow cones littered the scene next to shell casings, marking evidence of a wild shooting.
Anyone with information about the murder is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Or contact the Trenton Police confidential tip line at (609) 989-3663. 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.
Trentonian staff writer Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman contributed to this report.