A man in Trenton, New Jersey has taken children hostage at gun point and barricaded himself in a home in the 200 block of Grand Street in the city, after he killed his girlfriend and one of her other children in a dramatic stand-off with police that has lasted nearly 24 hours already. Residents in the area in South Trenton have been evacuated from their homes.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. At Least Two People Have Been Killed
One woman, reported to be the man’s girlfriend, Carmen Kelly, 42, is dead, along with one of her children. It’s believed the mother’s body has been there for some time. Police who entered the home briefly found the woman’s corpse decomposing.
2. The Man Still Has at Least Two Child Hostages
At least two other children are being held in the home. It’s not believed he is the children’s father. At least one of the woman’s children, her 19 year old autistic son, was able to escape from the house before the man gained control.
Carmen Kelly’s cousin, Ray, told The Times of Trenton, his cousin had two daughters, 17 and 14, a son in his early teens, and a four year old boy, the youngest. He didn’t know which children were in the house, or which had been killed.
3. The Man Has Been Referred to as “Skip”
The suspected perp is known only as “Skip”, the Daily Mail reports a neighbor, Jon, saying of him:
For all I know, he’s a calm guy,’ Jon said. ‘He usually helps people.’
The man worked security in a nearby store, walked his two pit bulls around the neighborhood, and would try to help people solve their problems.
‘He’s a cool guy, I don’t know what would drive him to do this,
NJ.com reports that the man has two pit-bulls, and could often be seen walking them around the neighborhood, he also worked security in a local store.
WPVI, the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia, reports:
She’s new to the neighborhood. They made acquaintances, they were friends and it’s just a tragedy.
Relatives have said that recently, Carmen Kelly, had been trying to get “Skip” to leave the family. The deceased mother was angry at “Skip” because of his treatment of Carmen’s 19 year old autistic son, WPVI reports her cousin, Sonja, saying:
The same relative says that ‘Skip’ had been abusing the victim’s 19-year-old autistic son. She alleges that the suspect locked him in the basement for weeks at a time.
“Locked him in there, he didn’t eat and wasn’t bathed, he told him not to come out,” said Kelly.
4. When Police Arrived at the Home, the “Skip” Brandished a Gun at Them
Police arrived at the home at around 3 p.m. on Friday, 10 May, a concerned neighbor reportedly asked police to do a check on the welfare of the occupants of the home.
When police arrived, they attempted to enter the home, at were met by “Skip” who was brandishing a gun.
5. Hostage Negotiators Have Been Talking to “Skip” All Night
Negotiations have been ongoing between police and “Skip” all night, with the FBI assuming command around 9:30 p.m. At around 6:00 p.m. state police sent a robot close to the house.
As of 5 a.m. Saturday morning, Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn, confirmed that a dialogue was ongoing with “Skip.”
CBS New York reports that authorities have been delivering food to the home upon request.