One suspect was killed and another is in custody after an early-morning shooting at a 24-hour art festival in Trenton, NJ that injured 20 people, including a 13-year-old boy who is in extremely critical condition.
Three others also are in critical condition after the shooting at Art All Night, an annual event designed to promote creativity and learning, according to media reports.
The shooting occurred at 2:45 a.m. at Roebling Market in the south of the city. According to ABC News, multiple people began firing, and several weapons have been recovered. Sixteen people are being treated for gunshot wounds. One of the suspects, a 33-year-old unidentified man, was killed.
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said an estimated 1,000 people were at the event when the shooting broke out.
“It’s a massive crime scene,” Onofri said.
According to The Trentonian, witnesses saw people fighting shortly before the shooting started.
“I saw two punches and then heard several gunshots,” local resident Franco Roberts told the newspaper. He added that “the people fighting got mixed with the crowd that was running and they went out the door shooting.”
Both on- and off-duty police officers returned fire as suspects fled the building while shooting.
“This isn’t just a random act of violence. This is a public health issue,” Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson said, according to USA Today.
On Sunday morning, the site of the two-day art festival, which has been held for 12 years, was a massive crime scene, covered in trash, broken glass, and liquor bottles, The Trentonian reported.
“We’re still processing much of this and we don’t have many answers at this time but please know that our staff, our volunteers, our artists and musicians all seem to be healthy and accounted for. Our sincere, heartfelt sympathies are with those who were injured,” festival organizers said in a statement posted to Facebook.
“We’re very shocked. We’re deeply saddened. Our hearts ache and our eyes are blurry but our dedication and resolve to building a better Trenton through community, creativity and inspiration will never fade. Not tonight. Not ever,” the statement added.