Trenton, NJ man with gang-linked gun sentenced for 2021 shooting
TRENTON — A 19-year-old city resident has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for firing bullets into a moving vehicle following an altercation inside a deli last fall.
Kevion Watkins had pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated assault for the incident that left one individual with a gunshot wound on the hand, and a state grand jury had indicted Watkins on two counts of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault, and numerous weapons charges, including one related to his use of a "community gun."
On the morning of Oct. 2, 2021, police responded to a ShotSpotter alert of two rounds fired on Oakland street. Watkins was arrested while attempting to exit a nearby apartment building after fleeing from the shooting, according to authorities.
Police recovered the weapon, with a defaced serial number, under a floor mat in a common area of the apartment building.
Surveillance from a deli captured footage of the two victims involved in a physical altercation with a group of people inside the store. The pair then exited the deli and got into a Chevy Impala. Outdoor camera footage showed an individual, later identified as Watkins, running down the street and firing two rounds into the victims' car as it passed by.
One bullet struck the driver's hand. The other occupant was uninjured.
"Firing a weapon at a moving vehicle in a public street is unacceptable and egregious," said Attorney General Matthew Platkin. "We will continue to aggressively prosecute individuals who disregard public safety, as we work to reduce the gun violence threatening communities across New Jersey."
According to the Attorney General's Office, the gun used by Watkins is connected to at least one prior shooting — a May 2020 incident in which members of the "violent Get Money Boys or 'GMB' street gang" allegedly opened fire on a group of individuals in Trenton, wounding two men.
The suspects charged in the May 2020 incident were among 20 alleged GMB members and associates who were indicted last year in connection with a series of shootings in Trenton. Watkins is not one of them.