A 9-year-old girl died after she was hit by stray gunfire while inside her New Jersey home in the middle of the night, local police said.
The shooter or shooters had fired several shots, hitting four cars in Bridgeton at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Bridgeton Police Department said.
At least one bullet went into 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo’s home through a back wall and hit the young girl in her bedroom, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said.
Jennifer’s family took her to Inspira Hospital in Bridgeton where she was pronounced dead, police said.
“This is the worst day of my political life — I’ve been in office for 8 years,” Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly said at a news conference Tuesday. “I’m outraged.”
“Citizens of Bridgeton — come forward,” he said. “So that something like this never, never, never happens again.”
“There are no words for how our community is feeling right now,” Webb-McRae said at the news conference.
“I’m pleading with the community. Somebody knows who was out there last evening shooting at other individuals,” she continued. “We need to solve this crime.”
“We need the public’s help in general,” Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari Sr. said in a statement, “but when an incident such as this happens to such a young and innocent victim, we could really use the assistance in bringing those responsible to justice immediately.”
Numerous 9mm shell casings were found in the area, Webb-McRae said, adding that it’s not clear if the casings were from one gun or more than one.
Police presence has increased in the area, the department said. Officers canvassed the neighborhood Tuesday morning and interviewed dozens of people, police said.
A $10,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest, prosecutors said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033.