Trenton Gunman Was Gang Member Convicted of Murder on Early Release from Prison

Tahaji Wells
Mercer County Prosecutors Office

The gunman who opened fire and injured 22 people at a community festival in Trenton, New Jersey, on Sunday had been granted early release from a prison term for a murder conviction.

Police say that Tahaji Wells, 33, had been released from prison in February and believed that his early release might have been a factor in the shooting at the Art All Night festival, the Daily Mail reported.

Police fatally shot Wells and the second suspect, Amir Armstrong, 23, remains in the hospital in stable condition. A third suspect, who had not been publicly identified, is in critical condition.

Seventeen people suffered gunshot wounds of the 22 injured. The shooting stemmed from a dispute leading to an exchange of gunfire with the police.

Wells was 17 years old when a judge sentenced him to 18 years for fatally shooting Robert McNair, 22, in a dispute over who should drive a vehicle to a bar.

During Wells’s incarceration, the alleged Bloods gang member had been sentenced to an additional six years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to racketeering for running gang activities from prison. reported that if Wells served out the duration of his prison sentence, he would not have been released until well into the 2020s.