Update: Man Arrested In Death Of Transgender Person

August 1, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A 36-year-old Ewing man has been arrested in this week’s shooting death of Shaquil Loftin, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Daniel L. Smith was taken into custody late Saturday evening during a motor vehicle stop in Ewing by members of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit.  He is charged with one count of murder and multiple weapons offenses.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Smith pending trial.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the MCHTF.  On Friday, July 30, 2021, at approximately 4:40 a.m., Trenton police responded to a report of a shooting at a residence in the first block of Kelsey Avenue.  Upon arrival, officers found the victim, identified as 23-year-old Shaquil Loftin, shot in the face.  Loftin was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.

A search warrant was executed at the Kelsey Avenue residence.  Witnesses were interviewed and area surveillance footage was reviewed.  As a result, Smith was identified as the individual who shot and killed Loftin.

Detectives continue to investigate what prompted the attack.  The case remains under investigation for potential bias charges as Loftin is transgender and identified as female.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Dave Petelle 609-989-6406. Tips can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Related MidJersey.News story here: Early Morning Murder In Trenton




Names of 2021* homicide victims: 

  1. 2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
  2. 2/22/2021 Khalil Gibbs, 25, of West Windsor, shooting
  3. 2/25/2021 Lovelle Laramore, 60, of Trenton shooting
  4. 4/15/2021 Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, shooting
  5. 4/20/2021 Shaquan McNeil, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  6. 4/24/2021 Cheryl Jones, 65, of Trenton, shooting
  7. 4/29/2021 Ramire Harvey, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  8. 5/15/2021 David Williams 36, of Trenton, shooting
  9. 5/29/2021 Edgar Geovani Sis-Luis, 34, of Trenton, aggravated manslaughter
  10. 7/05/2021 Dion Ellis, 16, Trenton, Shooting
  11. 7/14/2021 Pablo Herrera Chun, 53, Trenton, Shooting
  12. 7/19/2021 William Mitchell, 33, Trenton, Shooting
  13. 7/19/2021 Jermel Carter, 38, Trenton, Shooting
  14. 7/29/2021 Leonard Pettigrew, 58, Trenton, Shooting
  15. 7/30/2021 Shaquil Loftin, 23, Shooting, Trenton
  16. 8/01/2021 Daquan Basnight, 30, of Ewing, Shooting

*Updated to reflect the person who died in 2021 from complications from a shooting on May 14, 2018 as per medical examiner report.