2018: Trenton’s homicides by the numbers

Police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting on the 300 block of Spring Street in Trenton.  Penny Ray - The Trentonian

Police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting on the 300 block of Spring Street in Trenton.
Penny Ray - The Trentonian

The capital city concluded 2018 with 21 homicides, which includes the death of 52-year-old Michael Anderson, who was shot on a Wayne Avenue porch during the early morning hours of June 7, 2017.

Mercer County prosecutors confirmed Anderson’s January 15th death will be counted as a 2018 statistic, even though he suffered the gunshot injuries seven months prior to dying.

Last year’s homicide toll also includes three vehicular deaths, as well as the death of an abandoned newborn and the death of Tahaij Wells, who was shot and killed by police during a shootout at an all-night arts festival this past summer.

According to the state police uniform crime reporting unit, vehicular homicides are considered manslaughter and are not reported as a homicide statistic. Justifiable homicides are not counted in state police murder statistics either.

Therefore, state police will likely report Trenton’s official 2018 homicide number as 15 or 16, possibly excluding a fatal beating at the psychiatric hospital, and certainly excluding the newborn whose cause of death was ruled the result of “neonatal abandonment following unattended birth” with a contributing cause of death listed as “maternal use of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.”

The Trentonian, however, includes vehicular homicides, manslaughter cases and justifiable police-involved killings in its yearly homicide count.

Using census data and the 15 killings state police will report to the FBI, Trenton’s 2018 murder rate is 17.65 homicides per 100,000 residents.

In terms of fatalities, January was the deadliest month of 2018, perhaps foreshadowing the violence that lied ahead. Five homicide victims died that month, which concluded with the double murder of Ivan Rodriguez and Jerard Perdomo Santana. Three people were killed in each of the months of May, June and November.

Nineteen of the 21 homicide victims were male.

The South was the only Ward that experienced less than five killings: two people died in that ward last year.

Seven victims were in their 20s at the time of their death, and five victims were in their 30s when they died. Four teenagers were murdered in 2018 as well.

The oldest victim was 56-year-old Anthony Anderson, a convicted child molester whose body was found stabbed to death underneath a large tree trunk in a garbage-filled stretch behind an abandoned row home in the first block of Taylor Street.

Fifteen victims were black, six were Hispanic.

Shootings killed 15 people in the capital city, more than any other homicide method. One victim was beaten to death by a fellow Ann Klein Forensic Center patient.

Nine suspects were arrested in connection with six different homicide incidents that occurred in 2018; one of those cases has four suspects charged with various offenses. Only two of the homicide suspects arrested last year are female.

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