TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Some communities in our area are not only dealing with COVID-19, but also a new round of deadly gun violence. On Monday, Trenton’s mayor announced a citywide curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. It comes after seven people were shot — three of them killed — Sunday in the city.
First responders were kept busy in New Jersey’s capital Sunday. Within four hours, seven people were shot during three separate shootings. Three of them were killed.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office identified the victims as 20-year-old Frederick Mason, 30-year-old Dabree Brannon and 24-year-old Quamierah Massey. All three were from Trenton.
On top of the violence, the city has a shrinking police force. The health department confirmed five police officers and three firefighters tested positive for COVID-19.
The city’s health officer says at least 15 first responders who came in contact with those infected were put in quarantine.
“Over this past weekend, a lot of young people came out, were congregating, violating the orders,” Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said.
The mayor announced he’s expanding Trenton’s emergency powers to enact a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. That goes for all businesses, including gas stations.
“I’m worried for all of the officers and I’m worried for the officers and everyone in the city,” Trenton Police Lt. Peter Szpakowski said.
There are 128 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths in the city.
The mayor wants curfew violators to be fined up to $2,000.
Over in Chester, Pennsylvania, more strict restrictions were also in place after a 7-year-old boy was shot and killed.
Gunshots rang out on the 2600 block of Swarts Street in Chester around 9:30 p.m. Sunday night. Seven-year-old Sinsir Parker was shot in his face and killed by a stray bullet, according to police.
“It breaks my heart,” Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland said.
Kirkland says surveillance video helped detectives find the stolen vehicle involved in the shooting. The mayor announced that police will increase traffic stops due to missing taillights and license plate problems, in an effort to search vehicles for illegal guns.
The city will now also close all outdoor basketball courts to help with social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak.