Homicide victim from North 25 shooting ID’d as Wilma Rutledge, 58
A 58-year-old woman who died Friday afternoon from senseless gun violence outside the North 25 housing complex has been identified as Wilma Rutledge, who lived on Carver Lane where the shooting occurred.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday had no additional updates on the shooting that also left a 14-year-old city girl injured with gunshot wounds that were not considered to be life-threatening.
The incident occurred about 3:10 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Carver Lane and North Willow Street. Both shooting victims were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by private means. Rutledge was pronounced dead at the hospital while the teenager was last reported to be in stable condition, officials said.
Rutledge’s grieving family members and friends did not immediately have any comments Saturday afternoon when a reporter from The Trentonian stopped by the household to send condolences.
Her niece Stephanie M. Rutledge, however, posted the following message on Facebook along with a photo:
“What a sad story to tell, my Aunt Wilma was in a horrible accident some months ago, and it didn’t look good for her, but she made it. This picture was taken the day she was finally able to leave the rehab, she’s the one with the shades on, she said I have to look fly….Sad to say today she was murdered yesterday in North 25 minding her own business.”
Sources say the victims of the shooting were innocent bystanders.
Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson on Friday called on the public to join him “in keeping the victims, their families and friends in our prayers as our police force executes the work that is needed to hold everyone involved in this senseless act accountable.”
A source with intimate knowledge of the situation said the 14-year-old shooting victim was a dedicated volunteer who helped special needs children. For the past six months, the teenager has worked with the Special Parent Advocacy Group, the source said of the girl, who is a student at the 9th Grade Academy in Trenton. She even volunteered on Thursday, the day before she was shot.
The source said the teenager was hanging out with a group of friends after school on Friday when a couple of guys came up and started shooting.
“The police director with the full support of the mayor is committing every asset at its disposal to identify and locate the individual or individuals responsible for this senseless and shocking act,” Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn said on Friday.
No arrests in connection with the fatal shooting have been announced as of Saturday afternoon. Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or the Trenton Police Confidential Tip Line at (609) 989-3663.
Staff Writer David Foster contributed to this report.