Standoff in Trenton ends in death
GLENN TOWNES Special to the AmNews | 5/23/2013, 2:56 p.m.
A dangerous and violent hostage standoff last weekend in Trenton ended after police shot and killed a suspect who held them at bay for more than 37 hours.
Gerald T. Murphy, 38, was shot once in the head and killed by Trenton police officers on Sunday morning. He had held three people hostage since Friday.
The home also contained the decomposing bodies of Murphy's girlfriend, 44-year-old Carmelita Davis, and her teenage son. The two had been dead for more than one week.
Police initially did a safety check of the home last week after receiving a call from Davis' relatives after her two daughters had not been in school for more than a week. Upon arriving at the home, they received no response and forced their way inside. Murphy was barricaded in an upstairs bedroom with a gun, explosives and three hostages.
After hours of negotiations, police said Murphy threatened one of the victims with a handgun, and police opened fire. An autopsy on Monday revealed that the initial victim, Carmelita Davis, had died at least one week earlier from trauma and stab wounds at the hands of Murphy. An additional autopsy is being performed on Davis' son.
Officials in Trenton said the standoff took an even more ominous turn when Murphy's mental state began to deteriorate even further and the hostages were in imminent danger. Murphy had an extensive criminal record, including arrests for assault and conspiracy, and he was a registered sex offender.