TRENTON — The Fourth of July ended in tragedy in the state's capital city after a shooting left a 16-year-old boy dead and another teen injured.

Dione Ellis, who was working as a lifeguard for the city, was pronounced dead at the scene after police arrived about 12:45 a.m. Monday on the block of Prospect Street and Stuyvesant Avenue.

Another 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg but is expected to survive, officials said.

Authorities have not said if they have identified any suspects or if they know what prompted the shooting.

Dione Ellis via Facebook
Dione Ellis via Facebook

Interim Police Director Steve Wilson said city police and detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office would "solve this horrible crime."

“When the lives of our young people are taken in this manner, I take it personally and will dedicate as many resources as possible to stemming the violence," Wilson said Monday in a written statement.

“We’re seeing senseless violence touch us once again during a weekend when we should feel safe as we celebrate with friends and family,” Mayor Reed Gusciora said. “The city has lost not just a vibrant life, but one that protected our children.”

Dione Ellis via Facebook
Dione Ellis via Facebook

According to The Trentonian, this was the city's ninth homicide this year. The city of 82,400 residents recorded 40 homicides last year.

Trenton fired its police director last month, with Gusciora saying he was looking for a replacement who would be "vested in the city on a daily basis."

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of the victim's name.

Sergio Bichao is the digital managing editor of New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email

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