(TRENTON, N.J.) — A 36-hour standoff with an armed man who took 3 children hostage in a Trenton, New Jersey, home ended early Sunday after SWAT teams fatally shot the suspect and rescued the children.
Police say Gerald Tyrone Murphy, who was a registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history, had been living with Carmelita Stevens and her family for less than two months. Two weeks ago he killed Stevens along with her 13-year-old son and took the other 3 children, two teenage daughters and a 4-year old boy, hostage in a room upstairs.
Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera Jr. said the standoff began Friday when police arrived at the home to investigate reports that Carmelita Stevens’ children hadn’t been to school in two weeks.
It all came to an end early Sunday morning, according to New Jersey Police superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes.
“A single shot was fired by our entry teams to stop a threatening action against one of the children by Murphy,” Fuentes recounted. “Murphy was wounded, taken into custody and transported to the Fuld medical Center by Trenton EMS. He has since died of his injuries.”
Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini said there are reports that Murphy, who also went by “Skip,” sexually abused the woman’s daughters during the ordeal. The two girls, ages 16 and 18, along with the 4-year-old were taken to a medical center for evaluation and treatment.
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Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Sherisse Pham, CNN