By Connor Smith, Ashton Leber and Brielle Bryan
Editor-in-Chief, Features Editor and Opinions Editor
EWING — A local rapper was shot to death outside his home, about a mile from the College, early Thursday morning.
Devon Green, 23, was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene after two unknown men approached him and his friend in Green’s carport area at his home on Lanning Street, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said. The suspects remain at large, according to College spokesman Dave Muha.
“As long as I’ve known (Green), he’s never been the person to have any conflicts with anyone,” said his friend, who was sitting next to Green and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He stays to himself. He’s a cool dude. He just smokes his weed and minds his business. Makes his music and that’s it.”
Green, known as the local rap artist Savy G, had just returned from the gym around 1 a.m. and was outside smoking with his close friend.
“A dude in a mask ran up and was like, ‘where’s the weed at?’ the witness said. “And then (Green) was like ‘what chu doin’ runnin up like that?’ And he just shot him. Plain and simple, just shot him.”
The suspects fled in the direction of the College, according to the witness. While police did not release information on a possible murder weapon, the witness believed it was a .22 hunting rifle.
“It doesn’t make a lot of noise but it packs a punch and it travels,” the witness said. “Pretty much once it hit him, there was no coming back, because he got hit five times. He got shot in the side of his head, his chest and his arm. Two in his chest, two in his arm and one in his head.”
Jackie Vairo, who lives a few houses down from the victim and across the street from her daughter and grandchildren, didn’t know about the shooting until Thursday afternoon, when she saw emergency personnel outside Green’s house.
“When I saw all the engines down there, I thought either one, it’s a fire, or two, one of (Green’s pet) snakes got out,” Vairo said.
Though the College sent out an emergency text message to students, Vairo did not receive any alerts from the township or public schools.
“The area should be notified,” Vairo said. “Something, say, ‘stay indoors’ or ‘be careful where you go,’ or ‘keep your children.’ That’s what my concern is, the kids. That’s what scared me when I found out this afternoon: all these kids.”
Green, a graduate of Ewing High School, was an employee at FD Subs and would occasionally stop at the Dollar General next door.
Raymia Geddes, a part-time employee at Dollar General, said she knew Green from when he came into the store, and spoke with multiple customers about his character.
“He’s a friendly individual,” Geddes said. “He’s pleasant. He smiles. His temperament is a mild temperament. He has a happy spirit. He’s a happy person. From hearing things from all different angles, I never heard of him being involved in any crimes or in the streets, or anything negative.”
Lanning — which is known as a safe and quiet street, according to multiple local residents — is just off Pennington Road, across from the College. This is the first murder in Ewing in 2017, according to Mayor Bert Steinmann in a report from The Trentonian.
“This is not a place where you have to worry about crime,” Geddes said. “People walk around anytime of night, walking dogs, walking with their babies. You never worry about anything.”
In response to the incident, Campus Police will patrol Lanning Street, where some students live off campus, according to Campus Police Chief Tim Grant.
With the suspects at large two days before the annual Homecoming tailgate, Campus Police assured The Signal every officer was already scheduled to be on duty and working on Saturday, to ensure the safety of students, faculty and alumni in attendance, just like last year.