TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) — No motive “can justify these ongoing, seemingly relentless acts of gun violence plaguing our cities,” Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton said after a mass shooting took place in the early morning hours of June 17 during a city arts festival.
“The epidemic of gun violence has struck once again, this time close to home,” he said in a statement.
Gunfire broke out at 2:45 a.m. June 17 during a 24-hour festival called “Art All Night Trenton 2018.” Police confirmed June 18 that 22 people had suffered gunshot wounds. Of that number, a 13-year-old boy and three other people were hospitalized and remained in critical condition.
Police also said there were three suspected shooters. One identified as Tahaij Wells, 33, was killed. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said his office’s Homicide Task Force was investigating if he was fatally shot by police.
Two other suspected shooters also were shot. One identified as Amir Armstrong, 23, remained hospitalized in stable condition. The third suspect, who was not identified, remained in critical condition.
“How many times can our hearts break” over such violence, Bishop O’Connell asked.
“Once again, we fall to our knees to beg the Almighty to help us end these senseless assaults on innocent life in our communities,” he said. “We pray for the injured and their families, for comfort and healing. We pray in thanksgiving for the first responders and emergency workers.
“And we pray for our community here in Trenton that God’s peace and our love for one another might prevail,” the bishop added.
Police were still investigating what the shooters’ motive may have been. According to News reports, Wells was recently released from prison and had been on parole since February on homicide-related charges. Armstrong was charged with a weapons offense. No information was released as to whether the third suspect had been charged with anything.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it with youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: