TRENTON — As frightened and injured festival goers poured out of the Roebling Wire Works amid gunfire, city police officers walked into the fray with guns drawn.

The response to the fatal shooting — which left one suspect dead, 17 injured from gunfire and five others hurt in the melee — was captured by cameras worn by police officers.

Nearly 30 video files of the June 17 shooting were released Wednesday by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office in response to a request by New Jersey 101.5.

While the video shows disturbing scenes, the clips do not show either the gunmen or the police firing rounds. The videos also don't reveal how the shooting transpired. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor said Wednesday that the office does expect to release "additional footage and details [...] in the near future as the investigation develops."

Prosecutors on Wednesday identified four police officers who had been placed on administrative leave but did not explain their role in the shooting: Detectives Matthew Bledsoe, Michael Cipriano and Eliezer Ramos, and Officer Robert Furman.

Authorities have described the 2:50 a.m. shooting at the annual Art All Night festival as the result of gang activity.

Suspected gunman Tahaij Wells, 33, was fatally shot by police. He had been released in February after his sentence for homicide-related charges ended.

Amir Armstrong, 23, and Devonne White, 26, of Trenton, were charged with weapons offenses.

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The festival was in the process of being shut down around 1 a.m. because of an increase in fights on South Clinton Avenue.

The videos show police trying to turn people away from the site before the shooting erupted.

In one video, a police officer tries to keep a handcuffed shooting suspect awake. The man's face was blurred by authorities before the video was released.

"Stay awake, son," the officer shouts at the man, lying face down on the pavement outside the Roebling building. "We're with you, OK?"

When the ambulance squad arrives, one of the crew repeatedly asks the police to remove the handcuffs.

"Take the cuffs off him," she says. "He's not going anywhere."

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In other videos, police can be seen carrying shooting victims into their police cars and speeding them to the emergency room.

As police officers try to figure out what is going on, video shows them trying to keep the crowds at bay, arguing with anguished people looking for their loved ones, and even arresting some of them.

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The annual festival is marketed as a sort of take-back-the-night event in an underserved capital city that has struggled with crime and violence.

Police were aware that violence might erupt that night. At 11:25 a.m. Saturday, hours before the festival opened, a Hamilton school teacher posted the following on her Facebook page: "Please, please DO NOT GO TO ART ALL NIGHT! THEY WILL BE SHOOTING IT UP!"

Authorities said a retired officer who followed Danielle Grady saw the post and alerted Hamilton police.

Mayor-elect Reed Gusciora said the increased police presence this year was noticeable.


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