Amir Armstrong: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Amir Armstrong has been identified as the person that police took into custody in connection with a shooting Sunday morning at an all-day arts festival. One person, suspect Tahaij Wells, was killed and 22 people were injured when at least two people began shooting during the 24-hour Art All Night Trenton 2018 festival in New Jersey early Sunday morning. Seventeen people were treated for gunshot wounds, officials said in a press conference.

Here is what we know so far about Amir Armstrong and the shooting.


1. Amir Armstrong Was Taken Into Custody After a Shooting Broke Out in a Festival Filled with 1,000 People

Amir Armstrong was taken into custody during the shooting. The shooting took place in a confined space with about 1,000 people nearby, and could have been much worse, said Angelo Onofri, the prosecutor with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. “It absolutely could have been worse given the confined space and the number of shots that appear to have been fired,” he told CNN. The festival did not have metal detectors.

Twenty-two people were injured, 17 with gunshot wounds, officials said. One person, one of the suspected shooters, was killed. The last two victims to go to the hospital were a male who had a grazed gunshot wound, 6ABC reported, and a woman who had bruising to her scalp after the car she was hiding behind took off, throwing her.

The victims include a 13-year-old whom CNN reported was in “extremely critical condition.” The 13-year-old has since been upgraded to stable condition. Two other victims in critical condition were upgraded to stable, and a fourth remains in critical, NBC 10 reported.

Theresa Brown, who has volunteered at Art All Night for 12 years, said she has never seen violence at the festival like this before, Fox News reported. She said she was leaving her volunteer shift when she heard the shots. “I thought it was a car backfiring,” she said.


2. Amir Armstrong Is 23 Years Old & Was Charged with Unlawful Possession of a Handgun

Amir Armstrong, the suspect taken into custody, is 23 years old. He was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, NBC 10 reported.

As a result of the shooting, the festival has been canceled. It was supposed to run until 3 p.m. on Sunday. This was the festival’s 12th year, and it featured 1,500 works of art, graffiti, live murals, and many live music performances.

When festival attendees first heard the gunfire at the Art All Night Festival, they thought it was fireworks, Angelo Nicolo told CNN. “All of a sudden, my brother goes to me, ‘You hear that gunfire?’ I go, ‘It sounds like fireworks.'” He said “all hell broke loose” when people realized someone was shooting, and they all started running.

Art All Night released the following statement after the shooting:

It’s with great regret that we announce that the remainder of Art All Night has been cancelled due to a tragic incident that occurred overnight.

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.

We know there are a lot of questions and a lot of speculation at this point. We’re still trying ourselves to piece this entire situation together. What we do know is that we are currently unable to release any submitted artwork that is currently inside the Roebling Wire Works building. That being said, we promise you we’ll be in touch as soon as we have more questions we information on this. We truly appreciate your understanding and patience during this incredibly difficult and confusing situation.

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.


3. An Officer Shot & Killed Tahaij Wells, a Suspected Shooter, Officials Said

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri told officials during a press conference on Sunday morning that they believe a police officer shot and killed one of the shooters, Tajaij Wells, 6 ABC reported. Wells was 33.

Police said there might be more suspects, and they are questioning witnesses.


4. Officials Are Investigating Whether a Nearby Attempted Carjacking Was Connected to the Shooting

Officials are also investigating an attempted carjacking that occurred in the same area, to determine if it was related,  6 ABC reported. Officials said that a man approached three people in a vehicle right after the shooting and might have pointed a gun at the them. The vehicle was damaged, but it’s not known if this was related to the shooting or not.

One of the many projects at the festival was an art project from Moms Demand Action, seeking a world free of gun violence. Other projects were also promoting a peaceful, violent-free world.


5. Officials Believe the Shooting Began as a Fight Between Rival Neighborhood Gangs

Early on, a number of witnesses said that it looked like people were fighting when the gunshots rang out. Franco Roberts told Trenton Homicide Watch, “Someone told us they were shutting down the whole building. Then we turned around and saw people squaring up to fight… I saw two punches and then heard several gunshots… Everybody ran toward the door. And the people fighting got mixed with the crowd that was running and they went out the door shooting…”

Police said there might be more suspects, and they are questioning witnesses.

Law enforcement sources told Trenton Homicide Watch that they believed the fight started between rival street crews. More than 15 hours before it happened, social media posts may have hinted that a shooting was possible, sources told THW.

Officials later revealed that several fights between neighborhood gangs broke out before the shooting, and officers had warned before the shooting that the event might need to be shut down as a result, NBC 10 reported. Witnesses said they hear arguing inside the venue before the shooting started.

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