3 men charged in stray bullet death of sleeping 9-year-old girl

BRIDGETON, N.J. — Three men have been arrested and charged in the death of a 9-year-old New Jersey girl hit by a stray bullet as she slept in her bed last month.

A police poster created in the death of Jennifer Trejo, a 9-year-old girl who was shot and killed by a stray bullet that flew into her New Jersey home on July 17, 2018. (Bridgeton Police Department)

Bridgeton police Friday announced the arrests of Michael Elliott, 25, and Leroy Frazier III, 20, both of Bridgeton, and 18-year-old Charles Gamble of Salem. All of are charged with murder, conspiracy, attempted murder and weapons offenses in the July 17 death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo.

Chief Michael Gaimari Sr. of the Bridgeton police department said several search warrants were also executed and at least one handgun was recovered along with drugs.

Gaimari said “nothing will bring Jennifer back, but the fact that those who we believe are responsible are off the street helps reassure the public that these actions will not be tolerated and those responsible held accountable.”

Police said shots were fired about a block away and a stray bullet went through the home’s rear wall. Investigators said the gunfire likely came from a group of men standing nearby and apparently aimed at another nearby group. Police haven’t disclosed a possible motive for the shooting.

Gaimari and Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said more arrests and charges may follow and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Listed phone numbers for the defendants couldn’t be found Saturday and it’s unclear whether they have attorneys.