Trenton surpasses single-year record for murders after two more people killed this weekend

Two men were murdered within five hours of each other in the capital city this weekend, bringing the total number of murders in Trenton this year to 39, a new record with one month still left in the year.

Officials confirmed that one man was stabbed on the 300 block of Brunswick Avenue at about 9:50 p.m. on Saturday. When police arrived at the scene, they found Daniel Alvaranga, 33, in the intersection of Brunswick Avenue and Southard Street. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.

Then at about 2:50 a.m. Sunday morning, police received reports that a man had been shot on the 300 block of Centre Street. The victim, whose identity has not been confirmed yet, was in his 30s. Police found the body in a first-floor apartment. The man had suffering a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced at the scene.

According to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the homicides this weekend do not appear to be related. Both investigations are ongoing and no arrests have been made.

The killings were Trenton’s 38th and 39th murders of the year, breaking the 2013 record of 37 murders.

Violent crimes have spiked across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, while non-violent crimes like robbery have been down. Homicides across the U.S. rose more than 28 percent for the first nine months of this year, and aggravated assaults increased nine percent compared to the same period last year, according to statistics compiled from 223 police agencies by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Trenton has a population of 84,700 and it’s land area is just 7.6 square miles, according to U.S. Census data. The mayor of the city, former state assemblyman Reed Gusciora, had not issued a statement about the murders as of 11 a.m. Sunday.