Woman murdered in Trenton Tuesday, suspects set getaway car on fire
A reputed gang member who was suspected in several capital city shootings was gunned down Tuesday afternoon in a notorious crime hotspot.
Shaela Johnson, a 19-year-old member of the Crips street gang, was shot and killed around 2:15 p.m. when two gunmen sprayed up the 800 block of Stuyvesant Avenue, according to law enforcement who say she was shot approximately 14 times.
Police sources say video of the shooting shows the gunmen pull up in front of a deli, jump out of a vehicle and fire at Johnson and another person standing with her on the corner. The store was effectively closed for the day following the latest capital city bloodshed.
Sources say Johnson appears to be the target of the shooting, as one gunman stood over her and fired a few rounds while she was on the ground, striking her in the arms, chest and head.
Video shows a second gunman chase a second victim down the street, but it’s unclear whether that person was struck by gunfire, according to police.
Johnson was reportedly taken to the hospital via a pickup truck, rushed into emergency surgery and later pronounced dead. As of press time, no other victims have reported being shot during the incident.
Authorities blocked the intersection of Stuyvesant and Hoffman avenues with police vehicles and crime scene tape following the homicide, impacting students on their way home from school. A school bus driver was forced to make a U-turn in the middle of Stuyvesant Avenue.
Authorities say the 2012 Nissan Maxima used by the gunmen was stolen out of Hamilton on November 19. After the murder, police found the car engulfed in flames near the intersection of East Howell and Franklin streets. Officials say the fire was lit intentionally.
Johnson was one of six people arrested in April last year following the attempted killing of Zaire Jackson, who was acquitted of murder charges in connection with the 2012 death of Irvin “Swirv” Jackson. Johnson and others were charged with weapons offenses after police found them in a nearby apartment with guns shortly after Zaire was shot in the stomach.
Court records show Johnson was on probation at the time of her death.
Johnson’s killing is the second brazen daylight murder to happen in Trenton this month. Quanmir Spears, 28, was shot in the head on Spring Street two weeks ago.
As of press time, no one has been arrested in connection with Johnson’s murder. Anyone with information about the killing is asked to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406. Or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trentonian staff writer Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman contributed to this report.