A Trenton community art gallery turned into a shooting gallery when two suspects opened fire early Sunday morning, leaving 22 injured and one suspect dead.
In its twelfth year, the Art All Night Trenton festival has become a staple in New Jersey’s capital city. Hosted in the historic Roebling Wire Works building, the event allows anyone to submit their work and viewership is free to the public. On its website, Art All Night states more than 1,500 artists submitted work and more than 30,000 people attended in 2017.
The Roebling Wire Works building did not have metal detectors at the entrance. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri stated 17 people were treated for gun shot wounds and the motive for the shooting was “neighborhood beef.”
According to the Associated Press, two suspects began shooting at 2:45 a.m. into the crowd of people. Four victims are in critical condition, including one 13-year-old boy.
After the shooting began, people fled for the nearest exits in panic.
One suspect, a 33-year-old man, was shot and killed by police, while the other suspect is in custody. Investigators are determining if a nearby attempted car jacking earlier in the evening is related.
Mayor Eric Jackson told the press he considers the shooting part of a larger problem.
“This isn’t just a random act of violence,” Jackson said. “This is a public health issue.”
Trenton’s Public Information Officer Michael Walker offered a message of resilience in a statement on Facebook.
“We will not allow purveyors of evil to destroy what we have built, what we have successfully sustained for more than a decade,” Walker wrote. “Our acclaimed Art All Night, I pray, will go on for many years enriching us, our city, and the many thousands of visitors its creative power touches.”
The Art All Night event, which began Saturday afternoon, has been cancelled for Sunday.