Police: Girl, 9, killed by stray bullet while inside home

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She was in her own home when the bullet pierced her bedroom wall. (WPVI)

Police say a 9-year-old girl was shot and killed by a stray bullet that came through the wall of her home in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Investigators say Jennifer Trejo was shot around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday after gunfire erupted at Elmer and Walnut streets, which is about one block from her home.

Jennifer Trejo


Investigators say three to four males were walking in the area of Elmer and Walnut streets when one or more opened fire. The bullets flew east down Elmer, and several vehicles were struck. One bullet ultimately entered the victim's home through the rear wall. It then went into the adjacent room, where Trejo was hit.

Officers arriving on the scene say they found family members taking the girl to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

At the home Tuesday, well-wishers came and went after consoling the family.

"It's very, very difficult. Right now they're grieving and they wish privacy," said Deacon Arnoldo Santos, Parish of the Holy Cross.

A friend of the victim, 9-year-old Lisa Veleo, was devastated, saying, "I feel like my heart is about to break because my friend died."

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Police: Girl, 9, killed by stray bullet while inside Bridgeton home. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 5pm on July 17, 2018.



Jalana Walker was shot in a previous incident in Bridgeton and was nearly hit when the gunfire erupted overnight.

"I was standing by the cars and I (saw) the flares and I just fell to the ground, and they kept shooting and kept shooting and it seemed like they wouldn't stop shooting until they didn't see (anybody) standing up (any) more," Walker said.

Neighbors said there has been much gun violence here recently, fueled by drugs and gang activity. Sadly, this is not the first time bullets have flown through someone's home.

"In recent days in our community there has been much violence," said Mey Davil. "In a number of houses, bullets have entered. Thank God no one has died but now this time it happened. It is very dangerous here."

Police say they have interviewed dozens of people as this investigation continues.

"This is one of the instances where I'm imploring the community, I'm pleading with the community: somebody knows who was out there last evening shooting at other individuals, and this is that tragic circumstance where an innocent bystander was shot dead as a result," said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae.

Authorities say there will be an increased police presence in the area to "curb the tensions there" and to gather more information.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the killer.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Bridgeton Police at 856-451-0033.
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