Violence escalates in Trenton as family mourns

TRENTON - August 5, 2013

52-year-old Barrry Church, known as "Bam", was an innocent bystander shot to death Saturday night on the 1100 block of east State Street as he sat on the steps of his home.

His son Anthony was standing right next to him when the gunfire erupted.

"He was just sitting there and that's when the gunshots started going. He was just sitting there. He wasn't doing nothing to nobody," Anthony said. Joann Morris is mourning the man she's been with for 25 years.

"He was on the porch like slumped over. The police were there instantaneously. I don't know how they got there so fast and they told me I had to go back and I said 'no, that's my husband. I want to see him,'" Joann said.

Police say that 22-year-old Hassan Allen was driving a Chevy Blazer involved in that shooting and was hit in the back and killed.

Allen passed out and with his foot lodged on the gas pedal, roared up the street going as fast as 100 mph.

The vehicle slammed into two women and flipped over.

23-year-old Carmen Wright of Philadelphia was critically injured and remains at Capital Health Regional Medical Center where she's being treated for massive brain and internal injuries.

Her cousin, 22-year-old Deja Flagg of Trenton, was less seriously injured but remains hospitalized.

Two others died in Trenton this weekend in two separate homicides, bringing the number of people murdered in the city so far this year to 27.

It's only August and that breaks last year's record of 24 killings.

"North Trenton, South Trenton, it's just scary. You're scared to walk. Scared to be outside on the porch," Trenton resident Sondra Carter said.

Barry Church's death proves that fear is founded.

With fewer police and rising violence, the city's streets are dangerous.

And now Barry Church will never make that big family reunion in Virginia he'd been looking forward to in a couple weeks. Instead, Joann Morris says his family is planning his funeral. ------------------------

The family has set up a donation fund in Carmen's name. People who wish to donate can walk into any Citizen's Bank and make a donation to the Carmen Wright fund.

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