TRENTON — It was a "verbal dispute" that led to shots being fired at the second floor kitchen of a house, killing two young brothers in their home on Tuesday night, according to Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onfri.

Dajuan “Bando” Kelley, 26, of Ewing, fired eight shots about 10:30 p.m. at the house on the 200 block of Mulberry Street, which had been pointed out to him by Destanie Ellis, 29, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, Onofri said.

Bullets struck and eventually killed Johnny Perez, 8, and Gustavo Perez, 16.

Ellis was arrested in Trenton on Thursday night while Kelley was arrested on Friday in Hampton, Georgia, by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Authorities did not say whether the 8-year-old had been the intended target. The shooting happened shortly after the 16-year-old and his older brother, Antonio, got into a "verbal dispute" with the suspects on New York Avenue after trying to get into Kelley's Ford Expedition, which Ellis was also sitting in, Onofi said.

Authorities did not say why the suspects were sitting in the Expedition or why the young brothers tried to get into the vehicle.

Ellis drove away in her blue Chevrolet Malibu and called other people as she followed the brothers to their home, according to Onfri.

After the fatal shooting and before the arrests, Antonio told CBS Philly that the deaths of his younger siblings might have been “karma” because he had “hurt a lot of people.”

“I lost my two little brothers over some stupid war that's going on out here,” he told reporters.

Gustavo Perez and his younger brother Jose were shot and killed in their home in Trenton. (GoFundMe)
Gustavo Perez and his younger brother Jose were shot and killed in their home in Trenton. (GoFundMe)

Onfri said Friday that surveillance video from the neighborhood shows Ellis driving the Malibu with the lights off, following the older brothers along Mulberry Street toward Breunig Avenue.

The Expedition driven by Kelley was seen driving at a slow speed following the brothers on Mulberry Street, Onofri said.

After the brothers got home, Ellis pointed out the house and Kelley opened fire at two male figures seen at a window.

Police found the two injured brothers in the kitchen. They were taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where they were pronounced dead.

The two suspects are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of first-degree conspiracy.

Onfri said the shooting remains under investigation and asked anyone with information to call the Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406.

Scene of shooting in Trenton
Scene of shooting in Trenton (Dennis N. Symons Jr.,

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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