The shooting Tuesday night that claimed the lives of a 16-year-old boy and his 8-year-old brother was an act of revenge stemming from an earlier incident involving the older boy and another brother, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri announced Friday.
The prosecutor announced two arrests, Dajuan “Bando” Kelley, 26, of Ewing, and Destanie Ellis, 29, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
Ellis was arrested Thursday night in Trenton. Kelley was arrested Friday in Hampton, Georgia, south of Atlanta, by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force. They are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder and related crimes.
Gustavo Perez, 16, and his 18-year-old brother were followed to their Mulberry Street home in East Trenton following an incident in which they tried to enter a parked Ford Expedition on nearby New York Avenue, Onofri said.
Kelley and Ellis were in that vehicle, and after a verbal confrontation with the brothers, Ellis left the area in a blue Chevrolet Malibu and called others to her location as she followed the brother’s home.
Kelley arrived a short time later and Ellis pointed out the brothers’ home, Onofri said.
As Gustavo and 8-year-old Johnny looked outside from a second-floor kitchen window, Kelley fired into the home, killing both, Onofri said.
Johnny was not involved and had simply followed his brother to the window. “He’s absolutely an innocent victim,” Onofri said.
The 18-year-old brother was home but not injured.
The older brother identified himself earlier this week to CBS3 in Philadelphia as Antonio Perez, saying he may be responsible. “I remember everything I’ve done, bro,” Perez said to the TV station, “I hurt a lot of people and I think this is karma, bro. This is karma.”
“Man, I’m not going to see them no more,” Antonio Perez said. “I can’t, that image in my head. It hurt, bro.”