A 9-year-old girl was killed by gunfire during a reported brawl in downtown Trenton Friday night, according to authorities. No one has been arrested in the shooting that occurred around 7:30 p.m. at Kingsbury Square, according to a press release from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police Responded to the area After receiving Reports of Fights breaking out among a large crowd, as well as Shot Spotter activation for possible gunfire. They saw a large group of people outside in a courtyard and found the girl suffering from a single gunshot wound, the prosecutor’s office said.

First responders rushed the girl to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, then to Robert Wood Johnson New Brunswick Hospital, the office said. She did not survive and was pronounced dead shortly before midnight.

Mayor Reed Gusciora said investigators believe the girl was not the target but was caught in the line of fire. He said police have interviewed some witnesses but at a press conference Saturday he and Police Director Steve Wilson pleaded with anyone else with information to come forward and assist police.

“We’re not going to sleep until this perpetrator is caught,” Gusciora said.

“This horrific incident has taken the life of a child. There were many eyewitnesses to the shooting who can help hold this individual accountable. Please, we must step up together,” Gusciora said in a statement earlier Saturday. “I’m grieving for the family and friends whose hearts are absolutely broken on this morning. I know investigators are doing everything they can to bring about justice. But they need help from our residents.”

No other shooting injuries were reported. Gusciora said private security officers were on the premises, on Cooper Street, at the time of the shooting.

In a statement to the school community, public school officials confirmed that a 4th grade student at Parker Elementary died “as a result of a senseless act of gun violence.” The school will grief counselors available Monday.

The incident is being investigated by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department. The prosecutor’s office did not release any other information about the shooting.

Legislators need to protect the smallest of New Jersey’s small businesses l Opinion

New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo’s testimony before the state Senate Labor Committee on March 10 sent yet another alarming signal that the Murphy administration plans to continue threatening the smallest of New Jersey’s small businesses. We need Trenton lawmakers to protect our livelihoods by sending Senate Bill 599 to Murphy’s desk with a veto-proof majority.

S599 would require regulators like Asaro-Angelo to align with the federal government and use the same test the IRS has long used to determine who is an independent contractor, and who is an employee.

It’s necessary to have a reasonable, fair test like the IRS test, to protect both what the Murphy administration acknowledges is a minority of misclassified employees being denied benefits like unemployment insurance and the 70% to 85% of independent contractors who do better as our own bosses.

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At the hearing, state Senator Michael Testa, primary sponsor of S599, asked Asaro-Angelo if he would support using the IRS test. Asaro-Angelo’s answer was “absolutely not”— because, he said, there’s no better way to make fewer people eligible for unemployment.

This response was startling in the context of the hearing itself, given that senators had just spent three hours excoriating Asaro-Angelo for his persistent failures to help residents already trapped within the deeply broken unemployment system.

It showed, yet again, that the Murphy administration intends to continue trying to misclassify us as employees — and to suck us into the same quagmire whether we like it or not.

Asaro-Angelo’s testimony was a continuation of the attack on our chosen careers that the Murphy administration began in 2019, when he and recently ousted state Senate President Steve Sweeney tried to pass a copycat of California’s classification legislation. It would have enshrined a nearly impossible-to-pass test, resulting in the widespread misclassification of legitimate independent contractors as employees.

California tried this starting in January 2020: So many of its residents lost income and careers that lawmakers passed an emergency measure less than a year later, ultimately exempting more than 100 professions. Voters added more exemptions in a 59-41% vote on a ballot proposition. A second cleanup bill is now in the works to exempt yet more professions, as California faces U.S. Supreme Court challenges from truckers, freelance writers and others still trying to protect their livelihoods.

A Mays Landing man who joined in the Capitol insurrection and admitted stealing two microphones from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lectern was sentenced Friday to 10 days in prison.

Robert Lee Petrosh, 52, was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $938 in restitution for his share of the damages caused by the riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Petrosh is subject to one year of supervised release when he completes his prison sentence, under terms of a plea agreement with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia.

Petrosh, the owner of a party supply store in Egg Harbor Township, was part of the mob that stormed the Capitol building to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote for the 2020 presidential election.

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