Gerald Tyrone Murphy: Police kill barricade suspect, find two bodies

Gerald Tyrone Murphy
Gerald Tyrone Murphy, 38. (Credit: Pennsylvania State Police).

After a tense, 37-hour standoff involving three children, police shot and killed 38-year-old Trenton, N.J. barricade suspect Gerald Tyrone Murphy early Sunday morning, officials announced at a news conference.

“For days, the lives of three children were placed at great risk by the presence of one individual who was their captor, Gerald Tyrone Murphy, age 38,” New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said.

“Today, those children have been rescued from a deadly threat and horrible circumstances at the hands of an armed subject.”

Murphy, who is a registered tier-three sex offender in Pennsylvania, is accused of killing girlfriend Carmelita Stevens, 44, and her 13-year-old son about two weeks ago inside a two-story rental at 250 Grand Street.

“Our preliminary investigation has revealed that the murder of Miss Stevens took place approximately two weeks ago, in addition to the murder of the 13-year-old boy,” Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini said.

Amid the decomposing bodies, Murphy allegedly held hostage three more of Stevens’ children – a 4-year-old boy and two girls, aged 16 and 18 – during a nearly three-day standoff with police that began around 3 p.m. Friday.

“During this whole incident, the welfare of the children who were being held hostage was of paramount concern,” Fuentes said.

“We passed food and bottled water through an upper window, watching and waiting for the best opportunity to end the standoff safely. That opportunity came 37 hours after the first police response, about 3:45 a.m. this morning.”

He said TEAMS – a New Jersey State Police tactical response unit – stormed the home with flash-bang grenades after it became evident Murphy was suffering from ”a deteriorating state of mind” and likely to take further violent action.

“Preliminary information from the investigation now being conducted indicates that following our entry, a single shot was fired by our entry team to stop a threatening action against one of the children by Murphy,” Fuentes said.

Murphy died from his injures at an area hospital.

The three surviving children were rescued and were on Sunday being evaluated at a local hospital.

“There are also allegations that the 18 and 16-year-old girls were abused and assaulted during the time they were held hostage,” Bocchini said.

The children, who were not fathered by Murphy, will be evaluated by state child protective services and placed with a family member.

Trenton Police Department officers responding to the initial call on Friday rescued Stevens’ oldest son, 19, who was found hiding inside the basement.

The teen told police he had not seen his mother or sisters since April 24.

“I would say we have every reason to believe that the kids were in the room and that they were possibly restrained during that period of time,” Bocchini said.

Ignition

The barricade touched off Friday afternoon when Trenton police officers responded to the home Stevens rented on Grant Street to conduct a welfare check.

“Police further received additional information from another family member that Stevens’ two daughters had not been to school in 12 days,” Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera, Jr. said.

“When officers did not receive a response at the door and, fearing for the safety of the family, they made a forced entry into the home through a rear door and immediately smelled an odor consistent with a decomposing body. The officers also noticed maggots throughout the residence.”

He said police heard a man’s voice coming from behind the closed door of a second-floor front bedroom.

The man, later identified as Murphy, allegedly told police there was a dead person with him in the room, as well as a second body in a rear bedroom.

Officers forced their way into the rear bedroom, where investigators said they found a corpse “in an advanced stage of decomposition,” confirming Murphy’s claim.

Murphy then told police he had barricaded three children with him inside the 10-foot-by-11-foot front bedroom.

He also allegedly said he was armed with a handgun and explosives.

Police secured the residence and retreated after recovering Stevens’ oldest son.

“Our hostage negotiators maintained contact with Murphy throughout the event and our TEAMS members took up tactical positions from which they could move in quickly when needed,” Fuentes said.

Rap sheet

Murphy amassed what Bocchini called “an extensive record involving violence,” spending several stretches in Philadelphia prisons since the early 1990s on charges including aggravated assault, theft and firearms offenses.

“He has convictions for aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy,” Bocchini said.

“He has also been arrested for robbery and weapons offenses, as well as child endangerment.”

Murphy served his longest jail term in Philadelphia after pleading guilty in 2001 to sexual assault, for which he was sentenced to four to ten years’ confinement.

“Murphy, also known as ‘Skip,’ was found to have an arrest warrant out of Pennsylvania for failing to register as a sex offender,” Bocchini said.

Online sex offender registry records list Murphy’s address as of January 2011 as the Ridge Avenue Men’s Shelter in Philadelphia.

Authorities continue to investigate the protracted, complex crime, which now encompasses a police-involved shooting, as well as two homicides and a barricade situation.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

Exercising leads to more drinking — and we…

  We’re rewarding ourselves with more than dessert on days we exercise, according to a new study. On days when people exercise more, typically Thursday…

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…