Man killed in Trenton Wednesday identified
The man who was gunned down in broad daylight Wednesday afternoon has been identified as 53-year-old Michael Brancolino Jr.
Brancolino was shot and killed near the intersection of Hudson Street and Hamilton Avenue around 3:40 p.m. He was struck at least once in the chest, and his body was found about a block away from where officials believe the gunman stood. Brancolino’s purple BMW was parked nearby.
Sources say there may have been multiple gunmen involved in the murder. Sources also say there’s a possibility Brancolino was not the intended target of the shooting. Police SUVs blocked a stretch of Hamilton Avenue from South Clinton to Whittaker Avenue Wednesday evening, and yellow cones littered the scene next to shell casings, marking evidence of a wild shooting.
Payten Mcleod, owner of the On Time Equipment auto repair shop at the intersection of Hamilton and Hudson, said he also believes there were more than one shooter. He said he was working in his shop when the shots rang out, and that his young daughter started crying because she believed someone was shooting at him.
“It sounded like more than one shooter,” Mcleod said. “Those guys didn’t care what they were doing. They were just shooting like a movie. I know a lot of people who say they’re not coming to Trenton because there’s too much shooting, and I can’t blame them.”
Mcleod moved to Trenton from Jamaica about five years ago and started his auto shop from scratch. He said violence in the capital city seems senseless compared to violence in his native country, where people usually know why someone is trying to kill them.
“In Jamaica we don’t kill like that,” Mcleod said. “We have a little more love. We don’t kill for nothing. In Jamaica you’ll know why someone is trying to kill you.”
He also believes young American kids take life for granted.
“These kids have material possessions before they’re born and they take it for granted; it’s crazy,” Mcleod said. “They need to take a trip. When you travel you recognize what you’re living for, what you’re on this Earth for, and you stop taking things for granted. Life is more serious than what people think.”
Brancolino was well known within the community and local residents expressed sadness about his death on social media, acknowledging that life is precious.
“RIP Michael Brancolino Jr. gonna miss you bud,” Andrew Martino wrote on Facebook. “One of kind for sure, say hi to my POPS for me, you guys back at it again. Love ya bud.”
“RIP to my cousin Michael Brancolino Jr. so happy we just caught up!” Stacie Bencivengo wrote Thursday morning.
“He always had a way of making us all feel better,” Theresa DiMattia Dalanas wrote.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation and no one has been arrested in connection with the killing as of press time.
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.