Ewing, NJ deli murder suspect forgot to wash evidence off sneakers, cops say
EWING — A pair of blood-stained sneakers led to the arrest of a Trenton teen who is now charged with murder in the death of the owner of a deli in June.
Shots were fired at Priori’s Deli at the corner of Hillcrest and Holman avenues about 6:10 a.m. on June 6, according to Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri.
Oscar Palacios, 54, and his 57-year-old brother had just opened the deli when a 17-year-old wearing a dark mask that covered his face placed an order for food.
The teen then demanded money and pointed a handgun at the men and fired a shot that grazed the older brother in the forehead, according to Onofri.
The two then got into a physical fight and the teen fired another shot that landed in the older brother's abdomen. A third and fatal shot landed in the 54-year-old's chest.
Onofri said investigators used security video that captured the teen leaving the deli on a bicycle while wearing a black jacket and white sneakers with the word “AIR” in large letters on the side.
When the teen was taken into custody on a warrant for a separate crime on June 21, detectives noticed he was wearing the same sneakers as in the video.
Police said the sneakers had dried blood. The blood was a DNA match to the 57-year-old Palacios.
The teen is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree robbery, and firearms offenses. He is being held in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.