TRENTON — Two young brothers were shot dead in the second floor of a house on Tuesday night, the fifth and sixth shooting deaths in New Jersey's capital city during October, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.

Shots fired were fired from the street at the second floor of the house on the 200 block of Mulberry Street in Trenton around 10:30 p.m., killing two boys, ages 8 and 16, according to spokeswoman Casey deBlasio.The brothers were identified by deBlasio as Johnny Perez, 8, and Gustavo Perez, 16.

Trenton mayor Reed Gusciora and Trenton police director Sheilah Coley At a press conference on Wednesday morning said at least six shots were fired at the house hitting Johnny in the neck and Gustavo in the chest. Another sibling and the boys mother were also in the house, according to Coley.

The shooters ran from the scene after they fired, according to deBlasio.

The boys were at a "family outing" in front of their house before the shooting but did not reveal the nature of the event. Coley said investigators from the prosecutor's office was still piecing together a timeline of events that led to the shooting. While Coley said did not know if someone at the outing returned to the house she said the house was likely targeted by the gunman. The prosecutor's office was reviewing video related to the shooting but Coley said she did not know what it showed.

Coley said no arrests had been made and no one was in custody but did not know if the weapon used in the shooting had been recovered.

The boys were students in the Trenton public school district but Coley did not know what school they attended.

Their deaths bring the total of fatal shootings in Trenton to 34 for the year.

In a statement Trenton mayor Reed Gusciora said he was "stunned by this act of cowardice and complete disregard for human life."

"I’m outraged. God only knows how the family must feel. My heart breaks for their loss, and I’m sorry that this city’s reckless violence has claimed the lives of those so young," Gusciora said.

During the press conference Gusciora said it up to the community to work together and speak up to end street violence.

"The message has to go out to the younger generation. They have to decide what kind of city they want to inherit and we have to find ways to avoid gang violence and resolving differences in the neighborhood," Gusciora said.

"The children did not deserve to be at the other end of a barrel and we have to do better as a community to make sure this does not happen again. Unfortunately because of so much indifference and evilness in this world we have to brace ourselves and prevent as much violence as we can," the mayor

Coley asked anyone with information about the shooting to call the prosecutor's office at 609-989-6406 or the Trenton police anonymous tipline at 609-989-3663.

Bullet hole in the left window of a Trenton house where 2 brothers were shot
Bullet hole in the left window of a Trenton house where 2 brothers were shot (Dennis Symons)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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