Jesse Everett was shot and killed Saturday at the Phillips 66 gas station on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Willingboro Township, New Jersey. The 14-year-old boy was reportedly driving a stolen car when he was shot in the head.
In a press release from Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Willingboro Township Public Safety Director Kinamo Lomon, authorities claimed that “the incident is not considered to be a random confrontation. As of Monday afternoon, no arrests have been made. Police have not identified a motive in the tragic killing. An investigation is underway so officials can better understand what happened at the New Jersey gas station.
According to the press release, Willingboro Township police officers responded to the Phillips 66 after reports claimed there was a shooting at the gas station. Jesse Everett had already been taken to Virtua Willingboro Hospital via private transportation by the time police arrived on the scene. The 14-year-old boy was then airlifted to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden where he was pronounced dead. Authorities listed his time of death at 5:24 p.m.
The initial investigation revealed that Jesse Everett drove the stolen car to the gas station before approaching a pump. While waiting on an attendant to fill up his tank, another vehicle entered Phillips 66. Witnesses claimed a male passenger exited the second vehicle before approaching Everett’s vehicle and shooting him “once in the head.”
There were two other passengers in the stolen car with Everett, according to police. The other people did not sustain injuries. It wasn’t clear what the relationship between Everett and the other two passengers was. Police have not yet identified a motive in the killing, though it is suspected to be a targeted incident.
The press release confirmed that Willingboro Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office will be conducting the investigation. “The lead investigators are WTPD Det. James Benedict, BCPO Det. Dan Schules and BCPO Det. Kevin Merrigan,” according to authorities.
A GoFundMe page was created Sunday to help support Everett’s family after the tragic shooting. Jesse Everett’s mom, Danielle Everett, organized the fundraiser. She wrote on the GoFundMe page that her son “was a goofy, loving, caring, and supportive kid. He loved playing football, basketball, and his game but he loved his siblings more (he was 1 of 14). Oh, and me.”
Danielle Everett continued, explaining that “EVERYONE knows my son loved his mother and how I loved my son. Nuk’s smile would light up the darkest room and his presence was felt by all. There is nothing in this world that can repair the bond that has been broken nor ease the pain that this tragedy has caused me and my children. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for this sudden loss of my baby.”
The GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $2,500 for Jesse Everett’s family. One of Everett’s cousins, Jenn Paganelli, wrote a tribute poem on Facebook to honor him. “Rest in Eternal Peace Nuk,” Paganelli wrote in the post. “You got an army down here to look after!”
Paganelli said that after her cousin’s death, “our family chain is broken,” and claimed that “nothing seems the same, But as God calls us one by one, The chain will link again.”
Willingboro Mayor Tiffany Worthy said Sunday that “gun violence is not acceptable anywhere” and pleaded with the public to share any information that can help authorities find the killer. The mayor added that those with any “information about threats of violence,” even those not connected to this case, should “contact law enforcement, immediately.”