Man murdered in Trenton Monday night
Less than 24 hours before residents were expected to swarm the streets for the annual block party to combat crime, a man was murdered in the capital city.
“This is crazy,” a woman on her way to work said Tuesday morning as she navigated crime scene tape and a police barricade to continue her daily walk.
Jermaine Austin, 37, was shot and killed late Monday night. Officials found him suffering from numerous gunshot wounds in the 1100 block of East State Street around 10 p.m. Austin later died at the hospital.
It’s the second fatal shooting in eight days to occur on East State Street.
On Tuesday morning, investigators seemed to be focused on an area in front of a home where numerous evidence placards littered a porch and sidewalk. But police also barricaded a parking lot between Jo Jo’s Food and Meat Market and State Laundromat, which are located directly across the street from that home.
Residents at the scene said they were not around Monday night to witness the shooting, but none of them seemed surprised.
“Typical Trenton,” a resident said as she placed headphones on her ears and continued walking.
Court records show Austin was released from prison earlier this year after serving time for drug distribution. Residents who knew him expressed their grief on social media.
“Rip Jermaine Austin we had the strongest love once now we got the strongest hate. life long friend s.i.p,” Khalid Carter wrote on Facebook.
“Rest in paradise Jermaine Austin…this is so sad! Another childhood friend more like family!” Israel Martin wrote.
So far this year, 14 people have been killed in this 8-square-mile city, which includes the hit-and-run death of 39-year-old Lea Pringle. Three of those homicides occurred during the month of July.
Hundreds of city residents are expected to fill the streets Tuesday evening for National Night Out, an annual event that promotes involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Police also view the event as a message to criminals that citizens are standing together to combat crime.