TRENTON – Her son was shot to death in 2012.
He was 19.
Now, Regina Thompson-Jenkins continues to plead for safer streets in New Jersey’s capital city amid another upsurge in gun violence.
A 31-year old man died a week ago from multiple gunshot wounds.
A second victim also sustained a gunshot wound in the same west ward incident.
It reasserted all of Thompson-Jenkins- worst pain.
“These tears are real,” said the mother of the late Tre Lane, her eyes covered in dark glasses where she stood beside Mayor Reed Gusciora, Acting Police Director Pedro Medina, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, Pastor John R. Taylor of Friendship Baptist Church, and others.
“Every time I speak, they are real,” she added. “I was robbed of seeing my own child achieving happiness in this life. He was 19 years old in college. Come on, he wasn’t in the streets. These are real tears, real life. I live this with my husband daily. I live with two faces, one for work, and one for behind closed
doors. We have to combat this gun violence.”
Following the latest killing, Gusciora called for the press conference here at the intersection of Calhoun and Spring with other city leaders.
“We feel it’s important to go right into the neighborhoods,” said Gusciora, who took the oath of office this summer.
The shootings are under active investigation, he said.
“We are working in collaboration with all levels of policing from the state on down, and they are piecing together evidence on the rash of crimes we have had in the last weeks.”
Extra patrols are on the streets and police have orders to get out of their cars and walk the beat.
The mayor said he wants to deliver on his campaign promise to work directly with the neighbors.
“We also want to call upon the attorney general to… hold juveniles charged in gun violence to be held to a higher standard,” Gusciora said. “And also for their own sakes. No juvenile should be at either end of a gun these days.”
“The hope is we can have a legislative fix and reform the bail reform system,” Onofri added.
The mayor said he supports officers on overtime and fully engaged with the community.
“We also know we have to break the cycle of social ills and we have to clean up these neighborhoods as well,” Gusciora said.
Taylor said he remembered a time when the intersection of Calhoun and Spring was a beautiful spot.
“I don’t want to hear about police brutality,” said the fed-up reverend.
“I don’t care what kind of crime it is,” he added. “Let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy. I have to bury people. I’m up to 30 people I done buried, because we’re letting criminals come back out on the streets.”