Khalil Griffin-Gibbs, a 2014 graduate of West Windsor Plainsboro High South who played varsity basketball when he was a student, died Monday night after being shot in Trenton.
The murder is the first killing in Trenton in 2021. The capital city saw a record 40 murders last year but had gone more than two months without another one until this week.
At about 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Trenton police responded to 110 Sanhican Drive on reports that two people were shot. When they arrived, officers discovered Griffin-Gibbs and another man who had been shot in front of the Sunoco Service Station. Both men were transported to the hospital.
Griffin-Gibbs, 25, was struck in the torso and was pronounced dead at the Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton about two hours later. The second victim, a 20-year-old resident of Trenton, was shot in the face and remains hospitalized.
The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Shooting Response Team are still investigating the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two hours prior to the shooting, police responded to Route 29 and Calhoun Street after receiving calls about a serious motor vehicle crash. Officers discovered an overturned vehicle and one person in critical condition. A crash investigation, which is being conducted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, is ongoing. Officials have said the crash and the shooting are not connected.
On Tuesday, Trenton Police Director Sheilah Coley issued a written statement about the murder.
“First and foremost, our condolences go out to the families of the victims of this senseless violence. The Trenton Police Department has been working with the community in an effort to reduce crime in the city, particularly violent crime. After a very difficult 2020, our cooperative efforts seem to be helping,” Coley said. “We have not seen a murder in the city for 76 days. While this is not a cause for celebration, we believe it was because of our efforts to work directly with the community and we will continue to do so. Additionally, our law enforcement partners play an integral part in crime reduction. We will continue to work alongside our county, state, and federal law enforcement partners as part of a coordinated plan to root out drugs and guns in our neighborhoods. The result of such coordination was seen in a recent joint operation just last month that seized multiple firearms and arrested 18 individuals, several of whom were wanted for murder.”
After Trenton set the record for murders in late November, Gov. Phil Murphy was asked by the press to discuss what state officials are doing to help stem the violence in the capital city. Murphy called the murder record tragic and said state officials are working with local officials to make Trenton safer. He said he was proud of gun safety laws in New Jersey and wished the rest of the nation had better gun laws. No matter what the laws are in New Jersey, he said people are bringing guns across the river and highways into the state. State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said at the same press briefing that the state police are part of a task force conducting investigations with the goal of seizing illegal guns to stop violent crimes in the city.