Trenton Continues to Recover From Hostage Standoff [VIDEO]
The city of Trenton continues to recover from a 37-hour hostage siege that left three people dead and many with raw emotions.
Police removed the bodies of 44-year-old Carmelita Stevens and her 13-year-old son from the small Grand Street bedroom where Gerald T. “Skip” Murphy held the rest of her children hostage late yesterday afternoon according to the Times of Trenton
Stevens’ 4-year-old son and two daughters age 14 and 18 are getting medical attention for the trauma Murphy put them through. Long before police arrived on Friday afternoon they were kept in the same room as their mother, watching her body for more than a 2-week period reports the Times.
“Today, those children have been rescued from a deadly threat and horrible circumstances at the hands of an armed subject,” New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said during a morning news conference.
Family members speculate that the relationship between Murphy and Stevens triggered the events that led to the standoff. “(Stevens) knew she had moved it (their relationship) too fast and was trying to pull it out, but he didn’t want her to do that,” Stevens cousin Sonja Kelly told the Times of Trenton. “He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” she said.
Murphy was a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania and had a warrant out for his arrest for failure to register on the state’s Megan’s Law website.
FBI negotiators, sixty State troopers, Trenton Police and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office waited Murphy out through heavy rain on Friday night and all day Saturday. Fuenetes said the safety of the children was of “paramount concern” throughout the standoff.
An End To The Standoff
As Murphy’s mental state appeared to deteriorate, police entered the apartment early Sunday morning using flash bombs. A single shot was fired at Murphy as he made a move with a gun that put the children at risk. He later died from that injury.
Murphy had kept the captives with him inside the roughly 10-foot-by-11-foot bedroom throughout the standoff, “This was a very complex matter, considering the space (where the hostages were) and that three children were involved,” Fuentes said during a news conference. “Our mission over those 37 hours was to save innocent lives.”
Pictures and video courtesy Brian McCarthy, On Scene News
The Associated Press contributed to this story